In attendance were the PNG Rugby Football League plus sponsors from all the ten franchise clubs, support sponsors of the competition and naming rights sponsor and broadcasting partner, Digicel PNG.
Chairman of the PNG NRLC, Adrian Chow, said the Digicel Cup continues to grow and develop with the inclusion of two new teams – PRK Gulf Isou and Simbu Provincial Government Chimbu Warriors.
“A total of 10 franchises will be playing across seven venues in PNG. Over 300 players and 100 franchise officials, match referees and officials will be directly involved and registered.
“We’re doing all we can to build a healthy and viable domestic competition.”
He said the Digicel Cup continues to improve the capacity of the coaches, trainers and referees through accreditation programs that are internationally recognised.
“Our players and officials are now registered on a platform which allows the world to view their profiles and facilitate the international movement of our players.”
He finished by thanking Digicel for continuing with their support to rugby league.
“Our achievement to date and plans for the future would not be possible without our sponsors. I wish to sincerely thank our naming rights sponsor and broadcasting partner, Digicel, for coming on board again for another three years.
“Digicel’s investment shows their commitment and confidence in our competition and PNG in sharing our aims to use rugby league to achieve positive change.”
CEO of the PNGRL, Reatau Rau, echoed this saying the Digicel Cup under the PNG NRL Competition has grown from strength to strength.
“The PNGRFL supports the PNG NRLC entirely. We recognise that the Digicel Cup is a very important bridge from an amateur level to professional level.”
He said the PNGRFL has gone through some rough times in the past and it was the Digicel Cup that kept the game of rugby league alive through the turmoil.
“Without the Digicel Cup, the Hunters wouldn’t perform like they do today, and without the Hunters, there would be no Kumuls.
“The game is getting bigger and we will do everything we can to support the PNG NRLC.”
Round one of the Digicel Cup will kick off this Sunday with games to be played in Port Moresby, Mendi, Goroka and Kokopo.