PAPUA New Guinea Prime Minister’s XIII coach Mal Meninga is still not in the country-11 days before his team faces a near test-strength Australian team on October 12. The PNG Rugby Football League office in Port Moresby could not give a definite answer on the arrival of the 54-year-old however they did say the visa process was taking longer than expected.
PNGRFL chief executive officer Brad Tassell said earlier in the week that Meninga’s visa had expired and they had not realised that until they were making arrangements for him to fly up from Brisbane.
Tassell said they were hoping he would arrive this week but that was dependent on the visa process.
Meninga, who is reportedly on a K500,000 contract as the national director of the Team Kumul programme, has travelled to PNG on four occasions since the last year’s World Cup.
He has had no involvement with the PNG Hunters, most of whom are in the PMs XIII, in 2014 and could arrive in Kokopo only days before the game.
Hunters coach Michael Marum, who is the Meninga’s assistant with the PMs XIII, has been with the team since it assembled last week in Kokopo.
Meanwhile, the PNGRFL confirmed that a press conference would be held on October 10 when the Australian side, coached by Laurie Daley, arrives in the East New Britain capital.
The joint press conference will be attended by Daley and Meninga, pictured.
The Australians will fly into Kokopo direct from Cairns and will attend a PMs XIII dinner on the Friday with their PNG counterparts.
Both teams will take part in promotional work on Saturday, with visits to local communities and run rugby league clinics.
Tickets for the game go on sale on October 6 with outer stand tickets at K50 and prices for grandstand and VIP boxes ranging from K100 to K500.