The 2014 Digicel Cup will be another epic showdown. For some teams, preparations have already started.
Reigning Kings, Port Moresby Vipers, won’t relinquish the cup easily, and will be looking at making it their second year as the top side.
The 2014 Season calendar will be formally issued in March.
PNG National Rugby League General Manager, Hubert Warupi, confirmed in a statement that competition will kick off on the 13th of April, 2014.
He said the 10-team draw will be maintained by the current teams unless there is a significant change in any of the teams.
Warupi said there’s interest shown from Jiwaka Waghi Tumbes and NCD Lagatois, however at this stage any expansion to the competition is yet to be discussed fully by the PNGNRL Board.
He said venues are currently being reviewed with each franchise given notice on areas to improve on, including venue security, playing surfaces and players change rooms.
The reigning champions, Stop N Shop Port Moresby Vipers and PRK Prima Gulf Isapeas will have to nominate their venues. This was made known in the last PNGNRL Board meeting in November, last year.
Vipers are likely to join Port Moresby Rugby League in the relocation to the Murray Barracks field while Isapeas have indicated that plans are afoot for Malalaua, just outside Kerema town.
Warupi said PNGNRL has contributed immensely to rugby league in the country during the absence of a proper PNGRFL administrative body through the intercity cup competition and would like to see involvement by local businesses and provincial governments to take heed and support infrastructure of venues. Many local businesses have benefited from the PNGNRL through the movement of teams around the country.
In the meantime, The Provincial Government Enga Mioks have lost 4 players to SP PNG Hunters for the Queensland Cup. Skipper Roger Laka, Co-captain, David Loko, Isau Siune and Tiger Emere will join forces with other players, ready for their first encounter against Redcliffe.
Coach Timothy Lepa is eyeing Coca Cola Ipatas Cup to scout young talent for this season.
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