Touch footy to begin preparations for World Cup

Touch Football Papua New Guinea will begin preparations towards the 2019 Touch Rugby World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with selections to start in 2017.

PNG currently has a total of 30 players on the elite squad for both women and men.

TFPNG will be looking to expand the team following the 2017 National Touch Championships in Port Moresby, proposed for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June.

TFPNG president Dadi Toka Jr told Loop PNG that this selections will also be in preparation for future international events leading up to the 2019 World Cup.

Toka confirmed that they will select a total of 60 players after the national championships.

“The World Cup is in 2019 so we need a bigger pool of elite players as it allows us to anticipate any changes to players getting injured, pregnant or facing disciplinary action,” he said.

Brisbane-based touch football association, Queensland PNG Magani, as a new affiliate to TFPNG, will manage four of PNG’s current Australian-based players.

Toka added that TFPNG has a very positive outlook as they prepare for more touch football activities and the national championships.

PNG men’s, women’s and mixed teams finished in the top ten out of 53 countries that took part in 2015 Touch Footy World Cup.

The men’s and women’s teams both grabbed gold at the 2015 Pacific Games and the mixed team won silver.

Quintina Naime