The Brisbane Broncos NRLW team has locked in a trial game against the Papua New Guinea Oil Search Orchids in Port Moresby on Saturday, August 31.
In what will be a bumper double-header of rugby league, the NRLW trial will be supported by a game between a Brisbane Broncos Legends team and the Papua New Guinea Kumuls Legends at Oil Search National Football Stadium.
The NRLW clash will be the Broncos’ first hitout of 2019 as they prepared for their NRLW premiership defence which begins in mid-September. A similar trial game was played between the Broncos and the PNG Oil Search Orchids last year in Brisbane, which proved a highly successful event for both teams.
The Legends game will also prove a hit with PNG locals with confirmed starters including Petero Civoniceva, Terry Matterson, Julian O’Neill, Scott Prince, Kevin Campion and David Stagg.
Australia’s Office of the Pacific is partnering with the Brisbane Broncos to put on both games, funded through the Australia-Pacific Sports Linkages Program.
The partnership will also support a number of off-field activities in Port Moresby across the weekend, including skills clinics and community outreach, and a welcome reception for the four teams hosted by the Australian High Commission.
Brisbane Broncos NRLW CEO Tain Drinkwater said the double-header would further strengthen the links between the Broncos and Papua New Guinea.
“We have developed a fantastic relationship with Papua New Guinea in recent years and these games are the latest part of a partnership that we value really highly,” said Drinkwater.
“Last year’s trial against the Oil Search Orchids set us up for a history-making NRLW season, and we are confident that it will be the same case in 2019.
“The team is really excited about making the trip north for not only the game but the events that will happen across the community over the weekend.
“The Legends game promises to make for a massive double-header of rugby league that all the PNG locals will really enjoy, and we hope all of our fans will head to the stadium and show their support.
“We are delighted the Australian Government is backing these games as part of its broader Pacific Step-Up program.”
PNGRFL CEO Reatau Rau said: “It will definitely be a big thing for us. We are really growing the women’s game in PNG right now having just concluded our Coca Cola Schools Regional and National championships which included the Under 18s girls. We expect some of these talented young girls to be selected and experience being part of the Oil Search PNG Orchids team when they face the Broncos NRLW team.
“There is an appetite for the growth of the women’s game. It is one of the fastest growing programs in PNG right now. This trial match will inspire a lot of new girls to come through our set development pathways and systems. Out of this, we set the basis of a new and very competitive Oil Search Orchids team for the International events scheduled at end of this year. It is critical for us to continue having more of these international matches for our women’s game leading into 2020 and then the 2021 Women’s Rugby League World Cup. We thank the Broncos NRLW team for giving our women another opportunity,” said Rau
“We expect the usual reception that our people provide for the NRL Stars in PNG when the Broncos Legends touch down in Port Moresby with their Women’s team. The Broncos hold a special place having a big NRL fans base in PNG as seen last year when their NRL team toured here. Our PNG Kumuls Legend’s team is being assembled by Coach Michael Marum and for those that turn up to watch this historical event at the Oil Search National Football stadium, we are sure the Legends friendly match will be a life time experience and a memorable day. We would also like to acknowledge the support of Orchids major Sponsor Oil Search Ltd, support sponsors; Boroko Motors, Coca-Cola and specific event partners, Airways Hotel and Air Niugini for making this event happen.“
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