1 May 2007

PNG ponders pulling out of rugby league world cup over draw concerns

6:57 pm on 1 May 2007

Papua New Guinea is considering boycotting next year's rugby league world cup unless its controversial draw is changed.

The threat of a boycott comes as outrage grows in the rugby league-mad nation over being grouped with the top three teams - Australia, New Zealand and England - in a pool from which three teams progress to the semi-finals.

PNG Rugby League chairman Sir Bob Sinclair says he wasn't even consulted over the just-released draw which he describes as a joke.

Former PNG Kumuls winger Marcus Bai, who is now on the PNG coaching staff, says there's little benefit in such a draw for PNG, ranked 7th in the world:

"There is no chance. We might as well not turn up and get zero in the World Cup. Or we might turn up and get a big basket of eggs and bring it back home to Port Moresby. Now it will be very hard to get sponsorship for the World Cup... I wouldn't want to watch a 100-nil or 80-nil (thrashing)."