PNG Orchids

Teams Named For Orchids Trial

Thirty-four (34) eligible players will face off in a trial match on Saturday 13 August at the Santos National Football Stadium to assist with final squad selections.

Orchids coach, Ben Jeffries will travel from Australia to Papua New Guinea this week to observe training sessions and the match, which are being delivered by PNG-based Orchids staff and Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL).

Orchids name train-on squad

Santos PNG Orchids head coach Ben Jeffries has named a 34-player train-on squad for this year’s Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) campaign. The team’s final selection trial will be in August.
 
The group features top performers from the recent PNG Women’s Tri-Series that took place in Port Moresby on 9th-10th July, as well Australian-based players who have been monitored by coaching staff throughout 2022 and have taken part in several elite pathway programs.
 

K1.8mil For PNG Orchids World Cup Campaign

The PNG Orchids through the PNG Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) Inc. received K1.8 million from Santos to back its World Cup campaign in England this year.   
 
Santos Country Chair PNG, Leon Buskens said: “Our values drive everything we do at Santos, and we are passionate about building a better future for the communities in which we operate. Our sponsorship of the PNG Orchids further reaffirms our commitment. 
 

Digicel's K7m Platinum Sponsorship

PNG’s leading telecommunications provider and digital operator is backing the two national teams, signing on as a Platinum Sponsor for three seasons commencing this year.

Digicel PNG’s Senior Vice President, Lorna McPherson said, “As Platinum Sponsors, I am equally delighted and excited to announce our commitment of over two million kina a year to our National Rugby League teams and flag bearers, the PNG Kumuls and PNG Orchids. This is indeed is a milestone sponsorship for us as we increase our level of support and investment in the sport of rugby league in PNG.”

Women’s Squad Named

Name

Confederate

1.Joanne LAGONA

Southern

2.Lisa-Marie ALU

From culture shock to big stage: Albert soaks in moment

“It’s overwhelming,” Albert says.

“Especially the first time I came, but with good people around me I get comfortable and more accustomed to the way of lifestyle here so it’s good.”

Albert arrived to the Dragons from Papua New Guinea for her second campaign at the club last year before the pandemic postponed the season, forcing her to make a decision on whether to remain in Australia or head home.

Her first experience in the NRLW was a challenge on the field as well as off it, so you wouldn't have blamed her if she didn't want to stay.

Albert's feats creating wild excitement in PNG

Celebrations were so wild that the phone they had been gathered around to watch the game fell to the ground and broke.

“They told me you have to pay for the phone, but it is all good,” Albert said ahead of Sunday’s clash with Parramatta at WIN Stadium. “It was my first win and it still feels surreal, but I am looking forward to the next game now.”

Albert is hoping to create another piece of personal history by playing against her good friend and Orchids team-mate Therese Aiton, in what would be the first time two PNG players have featured in an NRLW match.

The Broader Game: Jeffries on PNG

Fresh off a victory with the women's Indigenous All Stars side in February, Jeffries has shifted his focus to searching for 24 players who will take the Orchids into their second world tournament.

"I've only ever been to Papua New Guinea once and it was a wild experience," Jeffries says.

"You fly in and get guarded at the hotel, they line up down the streets, they just live and breathe rugby league. I can only imagine what this opportunity will bring."

Jeffries To Coach PNG Orchids At World Cup

Jeffries, who earlier this month coached the Indigenous All-Stars women to an 18-8 over the Māori women, said that he is honoured to coach the Orchids in their second World Cup appearance.

“I see PNG as an untapped playing market in the women’s game,” Jeffries said. 

“If they play with the passion and pride that they normally demonstrate with some football smarts added in, it is a good recipe for success.

How Aiton helped Albert fulfil NRLW dream and her plan to develop PNG talent

Aiton, who is only the third Orchids international to earn an NRLW contract after Amelia Kuk and Elsie Albert, has created a scholarship program to help promising PNG players further their careers in Australia.

Albert, the Orchids captain and St George Illawarra prop, was the first beneficiary after Aiton organised for her to come to Brisbane in 2020 to play for Souths Logan Magpies.