Papua New Guinea Rugby League is linking with the Brisbane Broncos to provide development opportunities for female players with the NRL club’s women’s premiership team.
The new strategic partnership, which aims to promote women’s empowerment and female participation in rugby league in PNG, was unveiled on Tuesday in Port Moresby by PNGRFL Chair Sandis Tsaka and Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White.
PNG Orchids international and Queensland Women’s State of Origin star Amelia Kuk has signed with the Broncos and, as part of this partnership, the Orchids will play the Broncos in their inaugural game at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, a week before the inaugural NRL Women’s Premiership season kicks off.
The partnership aims to create a player pathway between the Brisbane Broncos women’s team and the PNG Orchids, as well as providing a platform for the immersion of PNG players with the Broncos during the 2019 season.
The Broncos women’s team will also participate in community visits throughout PNG and support PNGRFL in promoting key anti-domestic violence and women’s empowerment initiatives.
“I am excited by the opportunity to partner with the PNGRFL and the Oil Search PNG Orchids,” Broncos CEO Paul White explained.
“We saw the passion that PNG fans bring to the sport of rugby league when we visited in February and it will be great for our NRL Women’s team to experience this too.
“The day is shaping as an historic occasion for the Broncos – not only will this be the first ever game for our NRL Women’s team, we will also be farewelling one of our club greats, Sam Thaiday, who will play his last ever home match at Suncorp Stadium.”
Amelia Kuk, who represented the PNG Orchids in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, will become the first participant of the pathway program, which will enable Orchids players to experience life as an NRL Women’s footballer, accessing Brisbane Broncos NRL Women’s coaches, strength and conditioning programs and nutrition.
“I am thrilled to be able to wear the Brisbane Broncos colours and run out on Suncorp Stadium,” she said.
Brisbane Broncos NRL Women’s CEO Tain Drinkwater was also present for the announcement.
“I see this historic partnership between one of the largest NRL Clubs and PNGRFL as major opportunity for PNG Rugby League,” she said.
“This partnership announcement isn’t just a rugby league announcement it also encapsulates the PNGRFL’s position on women’s rights and empowerment in PNG,” PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka said.
“For far too long our women have been in the shadows of our society but this is one time that they can step forward.”
The Broncos NRL women’s team will also play a trial match against the PNG Orchids in Port Moresby in 2019.
Source Name: Radio New Zealand