Australia's opposition Labor Party has announced that it will support Papua New Guinea's bid to have a team in the National Rugby League Competition.
AAP reported that an amendment at Labor's national conference in Adelaide yesterday committed the party to investigating how to get a PNG team into Australia's top rugby league competition.
Labor frontbencher Richard Marles said a Papua New Guinean team in the NRL would do more to introduce PNG into Australian popular thought than anything else.
He said Australia's State of Origin series was so popular in PNG that a cannon could be fired down a main street in Port Moresby without hitting anyone when a game was on.
If Labor wins power in Australia's election next year, getting a PNG team into the NRL would be pursued as a foreign policy initiative as well as a sporting one aimed at building economic and cultural links.