You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Boost for PNG with new national women’s competition confirmed

Women’s rugby league in Papua New Guinea will receive a major boost following a four-year $9.7 million investment to support high performance rugby league in the country.

The Australian Government, through PacificAus Sports and Queensland Rugby League, have come together to deliver one of the most significant investments in PNG’s rugby league history.

The support continues the major partnerships with Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League and PNG Hunters, to bring Australia and PNG even closer together through a shared love of rugby league.

Australia’s support will see the establishment of a national women’s competition in PNG and support a women’s talent identification program.

The partnership will also build the capacity and credentials of PNG rugby league coaches, support staff and administrators, benefitting both the women’s and men’s game.

"Australia is committed to promoting greater inclusion of women and girls in sport and is pleased to support female athletes through this program,” Australian High Commissioner John Feakes said.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day it is important to underline that investing in women and girls, including through sport, is central to accelerating progress in all areas of society.”

"Women’s rugby league in PNG has come a long way in a few short years.

“PNG Orchids’ debut performance in the 2017 World Cup and PNG now establishing a women’s national competition shows that barriers to gender equality are being broken down. I am excited to see where the game goes in PNG, there is so much untapped potential in this country.”

This partnership will continue its support to the PNG Hunters team in Queensland’s Hostplus Cup and will also see the continuation of high performance pathways in PNG.

QRL chief executive officer Ben Ikin said it was a privilege to partner with the Australian Government, PNGRFL and the PNG Hunters to help support the growth of rugby league in the country.

“The QRL prides itself on being an experienced and responsible steward of the game in Queensland and we’re happy to share our knowledge and expertise with trusted partners,” Ikin said.

PNGRFL chief executive officer Stanley Hondina said his organisation and the PNG Hunters were grateful for this partnership with the Australian Government and the QRL.

“The last two years have started the phase for long-term improvement in the game in PNG,” Hondina said.

“Our female game is in its initial professional competition stage, and we are looking forward to getting it off the ground for the for first time.

‘’We appreciate the people-to-people links that connect our two countries as well as the support from the Australian Government and the QRL in launching this new initiative.”

Star Orchids player Belinda Gwasamun said the partnership would create endless opportunities.

“Through the support of this partnership, I have been privileged enough to be able to travel and play in Australia and at a World Cup,” Gwasamun said.

Gwasamun and Nima make history

“I’ve also had more consistency to my high performance training. I am excited to see more female athletes playing rugby league and to have more opportunities and exposure through the support of our own domestic national competition.

“This is the way forward for the Orchids to be more competitive at the international level.

“The honour of being able to wear the PNG Orchids badge, comes with a lot of responsibility, to make sure that we are also able to positively influence other young women not just in our sport but as people in our community.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners