By Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
The CPL PNG Palais are fully equipped and prepared for the year ahead. Today, the Palais received a timely boost of K200,000 from Heritage Niugini Limited, in the lead up to the Asian Pacific Sevens in Malaysia.
The backing from Heritage Niugini Limited will assist the code’s drive in moving forward, with the development of women’s rugby in the country.
Their international campaign begins at the end of this month, at the Asian Pacific Sevens.
This corporate partnership with the PNGRFU will assist with the development of women’s rugby in the country, as well as the prospect of sending the team to compete in overseas tournaments.
Development manager, Sailosi Druma who is now, head coach of the PNG Palais, says the funding will be assigned to sending the team to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympic qualifiers, at the end of the year.
Druma, who has filled in the coaching vacancy, in Elenoa Kunatuba’s absence, says, the girls are ready, showing signs of improvement from last year.
The Palais, who have gone through a total reshuffling since their stellar performance in Noosa, last year, have a challenging year ahead.
With the timely return of senior Palais member, Kymlie Rapilla, after a long 7 month injury, the team has built on their dynamics, and believes they are ready, for a bigger better year of rugby union this year.
Rapilla said, “It’s been tough coming back from injury, especially with the team in form.”
The Palais have just concluded a 2 week camp in Port Moresby, and are in their final stages of preparations for the Asian Pacific Sevens, whereby an extended training squad of 30, was cut down to 18.
Much of their focus for the year, is on competing at the 2015 Pacific Games, and at the 2016 Rio Olympic qualifiers at the end of the year.
The Palais have promising signs of development, winning the cup at the 2014 National Gold Coast Sevens, and showing strength against New Zealand in the Oceania Noosa 7s, in October, last year.
The code of women’s rugby sevens share the same plans to develop the code, and gain much needed overseas exposure, as their male counterparts. The Palais have lacked numbers and a wide player base in previous years.