Sport: Papua New Guinea to host Rugby League World Cup matches
Papua New Guinea to host matches in the next Rugby League World Cup.
Papua New Guinea will host three matches at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, with each of the Kumuls pool games to be held in Port Moresby.
The country's Minister for Sports and National Events, Justin Tkatchenko, told Vinnie Wylie that, after hosting the recent Pacific Games, Port Moresby has a host of new facilities ready and waiting to be used at the highest level.
JUSTIN TKATCHENKO: We've been working on this for the last two years at a government level and a ministerial level, beside PNG Rugby League so over the last six months the World Cup team and NRL have done their due diligence and come to PNG: had a look at our hotels, medical facilities, infrastructure, stadiums and all the rest to give a recommendation as to whether we're able to host such an event. As you know, we've just had the best Pacific Games that the Pacific has ever seen and we've got 1.4 billion kina worth of new infrastructure now in our country that is ready and waiting to be used at the highest level and all these facilities were designed to ensure we can host these events so it's a bit of history for Papua New Guinea. We will be hosting the World Cup in our pool in October 2017. I thank the Australian Government and the NRL and rugby league for allowing Papua New Guinea to be a part of the World Cup and giving us our pool to be played in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea for that three week period...knowing that we will be able to host a very successful World Cup and also have the stadiums completely packed with Papua New Guineans supporting their number one sport.
VINNIE WYLIE: So the Kumuls pool, all their pool matches will be in Port Moresby, will be in Papua New Guinea for the locals to watch?
JT: Correct. We're hoping that we play people like American, England and France so we have a bit of variety as well as a bit of overseas flavour to our event, our pool in Port Moresby. We can play Tonga and Fiji and Samoa anytime so we want something different for our people to embrace, and also to show the rest of the world as well what we are doing in Port Moresby and promote out country at the same time.
VW: Will the entire pool be in Port Moresby? Will the games between non-PNG teams within that pool also be in PNG?
JT: No it's only three games. Those three matches will all be played in Port Moresby and then from there winners out of that pool will go down to Australia and play-off for the finals.
VW: So have any venues been decided?
JT: I will definitely say Sir Hubert Murray Stadium will be the first pick. It will have 20,000 people capacity. It's a beautiful stadium designed and accredited for rugby league. We also have of course Lloyd Robson Oval, which will be finished by then as well and we've got Sir John Guise Stadium, but I think the two key fields will be Lloyd Robson and Hubert Murray, which are true rugby league grounds, and they will be brand new and they will have all the facilities that are needed to ensure that the World Cup matches are run successfully and properly.
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