The former Australian rugby league player Mal Meninga believes the NRL must consider a Papua New Guinea bid if it is serious about developing the sport.
Meninga and Kumuls coach Adrian Lam have thrown their support behind the PNG government's bold push to field an NRL team.
But both agreed that PNG should start in the Queensland Cup before attempting the elite level.
Prime Minister Michael Somare has sent a letter inviting ARL chief executive Geoff Carr and NRL boss David Gallop to PNG to discuss what is needed for the country to enter a team.
Meninga says PNG is Australia's closest neighbour and if the NRL is serious about growing the sport - particularly in other nations - they should take this seriously.