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Papua New Guinea not quite ready for NRL Premiership

By Levi Matautia-Morgan -

PNG Hunters. Photo/ PNGRFL.

The Rugby League World Cup CEO says Papua New Guinea isn't ready to form a team in the NRL despite a stunning performance on the field in their latest international competition.

The PNG Hunters stamped their mark after beating the Sunshine Coast in the Queensland Cup final recently.

The RLWC Chief Executive, Andrew Hill, says he'd like to see PNG produce more consistent wins before they enter the NRL. 

"The Hunters winning the competition this year was fantastic but I don't think we should be talking about playing in the premiership at this stage," he says. "If you have a number of years of sustained success and you have a strong pathway-programming country, then you can talk about what's next." 

Andrew Hill. Photo/ Bulldogs.

However, Hill has no doubt that Pacific nations make a significant contribution to the sport.

Around 40 per cent of the players in the NRL have links to the Pacific Islands and this year's Rugby League World Cup will feature 4 Pacific nations in the men's competition.

Hill says the Pacific brings more excitement to the field. 

"The game between Fiji and PNG last year in Parramatta just went end to end," he says. "It's something we don't normally see in the premiership which is very structured footy and fans get bored of that and when they see the movement and the colour and the style of football, it's hard not to get up out of your chair and get excited."

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