PNG to likely join NRL by 2025: Hill


Australia’s Foreign Ministry is working with PNG Sports executives to get the NRL bid up and running.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong said this when appearing at NBC National Radio.

She said sports is one of the things that is strengthening the bond between Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“I’d love to see something like that because as you said this country is pretty focused on rugby league and it would be a good way to really, demonstrate those bonds, which are so important to your community …. But I’m told ultimately, the NRL’s gotta resolve the pathway for that.”

“We’re pretty forward learning on this,” said Senator Wong.

There is no definite time frame for when PNG will be confirmed to participate as Australia’s 18th NRL team.

Lead consultant to the PNG NRL 2025 Bid board, Andrew Hills says the main goal is to get all necessary paperwork done.

“We’ve got a few years to go,” Hill told media in Port Moresby.

“Obviously, me and the chairman (Wapu Sonk) met with Andrew Abdo (NRL CEO) and he has confirmed that they would like to have an 18th NRL team so that’s the first head.

“We will be looking to be ready by 2025.

“We have to get everything done in the next three years.

“We may not get into the competition in 2025, it might be a few years after but by the end of 2025, we want to have a compelling case to take to the rugby league commission for entry into the competition some stage after that,” he said.

The bid team board includes Kumul Petroleum managing director Wapu Sonk (chairman), PNGRFL CEO Stanley Hondina, PNG Sports Foundation CEO Albert Veratau, Ian Tarutia and Stan Joyce.