The new PNG team will play home games in Kokopo, north east of Port Moresby in the East New Britain islands, following confirmation they have met the required criteria.
QRL competitions manager Jamie O’Çonnor joined Mackay Cutters coach Kim Williams in PNG earlier this week, to make a final determination on their entry into the Intrust Super Cup competition.
The new PNG team satisfied all the required criteria; including facilities, security measures and the logistics of travel, opening up an exciting development pathway for thousands of rugby league participants and fans.
Williams has provided vital feedback and suggestions to the QRL, ensuring a thorough due diligence process has been undertaken for all visiting players and officials.
Moore said PNG’s entry into the 2014 Intrust Super Cup was a major development for rugby league.
“The opportunity to play in the Intrust Super Cup will provide players in Papua New Guinea with a direct pathway to higher levels of rugby league participation,” Moore said.
“It would be a wonderful story to see a home-grown PNG player rise from the junior ranks into the Intrust Super Cup and then the National Rugby League.
“At the same time, it provides us with an opportunity to expand into a market with over seven million rugby league fans.”
Today’s meeting of all 13 Intrust Super Cup clubs included the following key announcements:
• Round 1, Channel 9 broadcast Redcliffe v PNG at Dolphin Oval.
• Round 2, Mackay Cutters v PNG in Kokopo.
• The 13-team Intrust Super Cup competition in 2014 will kick off on the weekend of March 1-2 to be played over 26 rounds.
Another significant agenda item was a presentation by NRL Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle on the outcomes from the Elite Pathways Review.
“The Intrust Super Cup clubs asked for a review, we listened, and now there is enormous potential for the clubs and competition to grow together,” Moore said.
The review highlights the NRL’s intention to ensure competition and clubs sustainability, including key growth strategies like today’s announcement of PNG’s entry into the Intrust Super Cup.
The key outcomes of the Elite Pathways Review are:
• State Cup competitions will be enhanced with the formation of a National Championship, two Conferences – Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup and NSW Cup.
• Both seasons will be aligned with respective State winners to play in the National Final on NRL Grand Final day.
• A State Competitions Committee will be established with representation from the NRL, QRL and NSWRL.
• Base Funding for clubs ($100,000) is available subject to the following criteria – effective corporate governance model; ground facilities; appropriate level of management; investment in development/coaching programs
• Formation of Club Affiliations – Primary and Secondary. NRL clubs will be required to maintain a Primary Affiliation in their geographic location. However, they can now have a Secondary Affiliation, effectively paving the way for an interstate club to place up to a third of their players with a Queensland club.
• Competition Profile – 200K in funding available to promote and enhance the exposure of State competitions.