Sport: Hopes Aussie game will be launching pad for PNG league

9:59 am on 16 September 2017

There are hopes that next weekend's Prime Ministers' game between Papua New Guinea and Australian selections will be a launching pad for the future sucess of PNG rugby league.

PNG Kumuls coach Michael Marum surveys training.

PNG Kumuls coach Michael Marum surveys training. Photo: Facebook / PNG Kumuls

The two nations' Prime Ministers XIII meet in their annual traditional fixture next Saturday with Australia using it as a final trial before next month's World Cup.

The PNG XIII is severely weakened with a number of top players being unavailable because of the Hunters club side playing in the Intrust Super Cup grand final the next day.

The closest PNG has come to upsetting their Australian counterparts since they first starting meeting in 2005 was a 24-all draw in 2007.

But National Gaming Control Board CEO Imelda Agon said there was still hope for the home side.

"We believe that sport is an event that brings everyone together and we also believe in this programme because we all love rugby league and we've seen with the Hunters [against] all odds have done extremely well."

Ms Agon also paid tribute to coach Michael Marum, who also coaches the Hunters and the Kumuls, for advancing rugby league in PNG.

"Marum, I take my hat off to you because in terms of rugby league we are at the stage where maybe in the next 10 years we will be ready and Australia, from my experience and from what I have seen, they are afraid of us. We will defintely be a force to be reckoned with. No matter what happens on the 23rd, it's a platform for Papua New Guinea."