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Papua New Guinea Launches NRL Bid Academy to Cultivate Future Rugby League Stars

 In a significant development for rugby league enthusiasts in Papua New Guinea, the NRL Bid Academy has been officially launched, marking another major boost for the sport in the region.

Building upon the success of a pilot program in Port Moresby during the previous season, the NRL Bid Academy aims to identify and nurture promising talents among 15, 17, and 19-year-old male players, as well as the most skilled females in the 18 age group. The program is set to extend its reach by establishing development centers in key locations including Lae, Mt Hagen, Goroka, Rabaul, and Port Moresby.

With over 700 players slated to be part of the program, under the experienced guidance of Player Development Manager Joe Grima, the NRL Bid Academy is poised to become the largest of its kind, surpassing any existing NRL Academy.

This initiative is crucial in shaping the future of rugby league in Papua New Guinea, with a specific focus on developing emerging talent. The success of the Junior Kumuls has already been evident, as showcased by their commendable performance against the Australian Schoolboys Junior Kangaroos last September. Despite falling short by four points, the Kumuls nearly pulled off a major upset, underlining the potential and caliber of talent in PNG.

The NRL Bid Academy goes beyond on-field development, with plans to instill a new level of professionalism off the field. A team of 25 coaches, trainers, and managers will be employed to work under the leadership of Joe Grima. Their mission is to impart the necessary skills, disciplines, and techniques required for players to compete at the NRL level.

Andrew Hill, Chief Executive of PNG NRL BID, views the launch of the Academy as a significant stride toward establishing a robust player pathway system, preparing junior players for success in the NRL. Hill remarked, “We have said from the early days of establishing the Bid that we would focus on getting the best systems in place in respect to pathways and coaching for our top junior players.”

This move signifies PNG's commitment to nurturing and showcasing its rugby league talent on a global stage, further solidifying the nation's presence in the world of rugby.

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