PNG Kumuls hoping for new opponents- ( 18/7/2016 )

12:25 pm today

Papua New Guinea are eager to find out who they will hosting at next year’s Rugby League World Cup.

The tournament draw will be made tomorrow during simultaneous events in both New Zealand and Australia.

PNG players at the Rugby League World Cup.

PNG disappointed at the 2013 World Cup but will host matches in 2017. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Kumuls three pool games will be held in Port Moresby and PNG Rugby League CEO Bob Cutmore admitted they had a preference as to who they wanted to host.

“We’re hoping to get a European team and a team from the Americas because we play the Pacific nations quite often, in the Pacific test and other things, so it would be just great to go from another perspective and play a European team. I don’t know how the European teams will handle the heat in Port Moresby in October/November 2017 but this is great for the game and I think PNG hosting a pool in Port Moresby will be wonderful for the game.

PNG celebrate beating Fiji in the 2016 Pacific Test.

PNG celebrate beating Fiji in the 2016 Pacific Test. Photo: Facebook / NRL – National Rugby League

Papua New Guinea beat Fiji in the Pacific Test in May but Bob Cutmore said they are unlikely to play any further tests in 2016.

“We did look at a tour of France, which we are still discussing, but I think we will probably gain better advantage of doing a number of camps where we can look at a greater number of players and the 40 players that we select for the train-on squad we can actually bring them into camp,” he said.

“Because we’ve got NRL players and Queensland Cup and New South Wales Cup players so we’ve got to give them rest periods after the season as well. I don’t particularly want to go on a tour where we can probably get more advantage, using our money wiser, having a number of camps over the next 12 months to prepare for the World Cup.”

Meanwhile the PNG Hunters have missed the chance to go second in the Queensland Cup after a 24-20 defeat away to the Redcliffe Dolphins on Sunday.

The Burleigh Bears remain three points clear at the top of the ladder after beating the Blackhawks 26-20 in Townsville.


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