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PNG makes a bid to become the NRL's 18th side.

By Radio Australia 

The proposal has the support of PNG Government, along with local governing body PNG Rugby Football League and the country’s Sports Foundation.

The PNG Government said it’s working be able “to demonstrate strong credentials as a prospective participant by 2025”, with the aim to join the league by 2030.

PNG International Alex Johnson in action [Photo by PNG Hunters]

The bid will “celebrate and showcase PNG’s passion for the game, sporting talent and events hosting capability”.

PNG is the only country in the world where rugby league is the national sport and the country already has a team, The Hunters, competing in a lower tier league in Queensland.  

PNG will likely come up against contenders from Brisbane, Perth and New Zealand in its attempt to become the league’s 18th team. 

While the decision on the selection of the 18th team rests with Australian Rugby League Commission, there has been Australian political support for PNG entering the NRL in the past, and this bid comes at a time when both major parties are looking to strengthen ties with PNG.

The idea of PNG entering the national competition has long been discussed and the country made a failed bid to join in 2009.

Source : Radio Australia

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