In a huge boost for the international awareness of rugby league in Papua New Guinea, the PNG NRL bid and the Digicel Cup, have joined forces to promote rugby league from the country on an international scale.
The NRL show, The Gameplan, will have representatives travel to Port Moresby, to watch the Digicel Cup Grand Final between the Agmark Gurias and the Mendi Muruks this Sunday – before showing the game (either in full or via highlights) on their show, at 8:30pm on Thursday evening.
Brad Tassell, the Bid Chief Executive, said that the increased awareness and exposure, was a move forward for rugby league in the country.
â€œWe have developed strong contacts in Rugby League and the media internationally, and use these to help promote the game and the nation positively,” Tassell said.
“The opportunity to feature the PNGNRL Grand Final on the â€œGame Planâ€ show is a fantastic one for PNG, and I thank PNG NRL chairman Sudhir Guru for partnering with the Bid to deliver this opportunity.”
â€œBoth Sudhir and I believe its important that we take these opportunities to showcase what is good about rugby league, and how fanatically it is supported up here.”
“At the end of the day, this is about the game and the people who play it, officiate and support it.”
“By working together in the best interests of the game, we can move rugby league forward in PNG.”
Sudhir Guru, the PNG NRL Chairman agreed with Tassell’s comments, and is excited at the exposure this can have for rugby league in Papua New Guinea.
â€œI have a good relationship with Brad, and I think its great that two sporting organisations can come together and do something positive to advance the game and improve our image,” Guru said.
“The Bid and NRL have worked on a number of projects over the past year and we, like the Bid, are dedicated to raising the level of professionalism in administering the sport in thge country.”
â€œHaving Network 10 recognise our competition is a positive step forward. I would now call on the PNG public attending the game to be at their best behaviour.”
â€œSupport your team passionately but in the right way.â€
The Gameplan will also cover footage of the Southwest Junior Grand Final day (U13, U15 and U17), all a part of the PNG NRL bid’s national All Schools development program.
â€œWe have a fantastic National programme which is achieving real results, and providing a dedicated pathway for PNG Youth to improve as footballers and people.”
â€œItâ€™s important that we show that there is development of our juniors going on, and that PNG can manage a professionally structured programme that can produce not only great footballers, but good people,â€ Tassell added.
Adam Thompson from The Gameplan, said that the network and the show were full of excitement at the chance to broadcast footage of rugby league in Papua New Guinea.
â€œEveryone in Australia hears about how passionate the PNG people are about their game,” Thompson said.
â€œHowever, most Australians would not even know that PNG has a semi-professional national rugby league competition.”
â€œAs Brad has said in our discussions, this is a chance for PNG to really showcase how rugby league in PNG is more passionately supported than any other nation in the world.”
â€œIt will also show that there are good things being done in development on a national level.”
â€œI am really looking forward to my first visit to PNG and to the Digicel Cup grand final.â€