18 Feb 2009

PNG launches bid to have team in the NRL league competition

3:01 pm on 18 February 2009

Papua New Guinea has kicked off its bid to enter a team into the Australian national rugby league competition, the NRL.

Rugby league is officially PNG's national sport and entering the NRL has long been discussed.

This week the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has allocated 185 thousand US dollars for the bid which is backed by one of the game's legends, Mal Meninga.

PNG's Deputy Prime Minister Puka Temu says the Government is now approaching private enterprise to help achieve the necessary criteria for entry into the competition.

He says PNG having its own NRL team would unite the whole country.

The PNG rugby league president Danny Holmes told AAP that an estimated third of the country's six million people play league.

He says league is so big it can have more influence than the Government.