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Batangas Warriors: PNG Rugby League in Philippines

By Elijah Lavett – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby

Papua New Guinean students around the world always a take a little piece of home with them, and their love for rugby league is no exception.

In August 2013, PNG students studying in the province of Batanga in the Philippines started a rugby league team called the Bantanga Warriors. The main aim was for PNG students across the different institutions in the province to come together and play for the team.

With the awareness of the newly established Philippines National Rugby League (PNRL), PNG students were keen to take part. PNRL invited the team to take part in the Zambales 9s tournament in 2013, but they missed their first chance due to school obligations.

After a year, they again had their first shot at competing in the PNRL. On September 16, 2014, they successfully took part in the PNG Independence day celebration Rugby League tournament. With little knowledge of rugby league in the Philippines, finding sponsors for the team was difficult.

Through the initiative of International Student Organisation President, Ismile Kepu, he was able to secure a sponsor from the University of Batangas, with the support from University President, Dr, Hernando B Perez.

The university has come on board to sponsor the team with new club jerseys and equipment.

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