The teams vying for 2021 Digicel Cup are; Central Dabaris, Bintangor Goroka Lahanis, PRK Mendi Muruks, PRK Gulf Isous, Enga Mioks, Moniplus NCD Vipers, Agmark Rabaul Gurias, Lae Snax Tigers, Kroton Hela Wigmen, Kimbe Cutters, JPG Waghi Tumbe and Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles.
PNG Rugby Football League CEO, Stanley Hondina expressed his appreciation to the National Pandemic Controller, David Manning for approving the Digicel Cup competition.
Hondina indicated that COVID-19 was a real threat to the public and that the measures imposed would ensure the safety and welfare of players and officials.
“Compared to last year, we now have 10,000-plus confirmed cases and a number of COVID-related deaths. That in itself throws another dynamic into the mix and this year cannot be taken lightly.
“These are the messages that we share with the franchise managers and coaches when we have stakeholder engagements to implement the protocols well,” he said.
Meanwhile, major sponsor, Digicel PNG announced that it will continue supporting the competition for another two years.
Senior Vice President of Digicel PNG, Lorna McPherson said Digicel has been a major sponsor since 2010 and will continue to sponsor the competition for the next two years.
McPherson thanked the PNGRFL, Digicel Cup players, coaches and fans for not giving up on rugby league.
“We want to get the football fans back to the grounds, but the only way this will happen is if we beat COVID-19. Wear your masks, wash your hands and more importantly, get the vaccine so we can open the gates again and let the fans back in to the football games,” she said.
In the opener on Saturday in Port Moresby, Agmark Gurias and JPG Waghi Tumbes will go head to head at 2pm, followed by MoniPlus NCD Vipers against the Kimbe Cutters.
On Sunday, reigning premiers Kroton Hela Wigmen clash with Bitangor Goroka Lahanis at 2pm. In the second match PRK Gulf Isou face its neighbours the Central Dabaris.
The first game in Lae on Sunday will be between the Enga Mioks and Mendi Muruks. In the main game Lae Snax Tigers meet the Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles.
All games will be aired live on TVWan.