Sport: PNG-based rugby league team forms in support of West Papua

11:52 am on 21 December 2015

A rugby league team has formed in Papua New Guinea to raise awareness about the on-going human rights abuses in West Papua.

West Papua Warriors is made up of players from PNG's Digicel Cup domestic competition and also features two players from West Papua the Indonesian province.

Team captain Tala Kami says they first came together in August to compete in a nine-a-side tournament in Port Moresby, where they finished eighth out of 64 teams.

The West Papua Warriors rugby league team.

The West Papua Warriors rugby league team. Photo: Facebook / West Papua Warriors

In February they will take their message to the world stage, when they face the Philippines development side, in the curtain raiser to a test match between the Philippines and Serbia in Sydney.

"There's been a group of us that have always been supporters of West Papua and it just came to us that maybe we should put in a team that would sort of represent West Papua - but more to raise awareness about the cause. So once we did that we went and approached the West Papuan community here in Port Moresby, the leaders, and spoke with them about it and they were really really amped about it so it just kind of grew from there".

Tala Kami says they're also in negotiations with two more players in West Papua and some former PNG Kumuls internationals.