Three new teams have been admitted while one has been dropped.
According to the PNG NRLC Board, Chimbu Warriors has been dropped for failing to meet certain requirements set last season.
The Board also noted that the Warriors did not demonstrate sufficient financial support and sponsorship and whether it would become available as the franchise found it difficult to operate towards the end of the 2018 season due to limited financial resources.
Meanwhile, the existing nine clubs – Premiers Goroka Bintangor Lahanis, PRK Mendi Muruks, EPG Enga Mioks, Giru Waghi Tumbe, Lae Snax Tigers, Kroton Hela Wigmen, NCDC Vipers, PRK Gulf Isou and Agmark Rabaul Gurias – have been re-admitted.
Four new bids – Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles, Central Dabaris, Kimbe Cutters and Mt Hagen Kera Doi – were received and the Board approved the admission of Mt Hagen Eagles, Central Dabaris and Kimbe Cutters into the 2019 Digicel Cup competition.
Their applications were successful after meeting all the strict requirements set.
The application by Kera Doi was rejected as it was not accompanied by the required payment of the bid fee.
The PNG NRLC Board with guidance and advice from PNGRFL Board is confident the decisions made are in the best interest for the growth and development of the game in the country. The standards set in governance and administration will continue as we strive for best outcomes.
The 12 teams to participate in the 2019 Digicel Cup season are: Premiers Goroka Bintangor Lahanis, EPG Enga Mioks, Giru Waghi Tumbe, PRK Mendi Muruks, Lae Snax Tigers, Kroton Hela Wigmen, NCDC Pom Vipers, PRK Gulf Isou, Agmark Rabaul Gurias, Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles, Central Dabaris and Kimbe Cutters.
The PNGNRLC Board says participation agreements and associated documents will be distributed to all 12 clubs in the coming days so that the 2019 season launch and draw can be finalized in the new- year. The 2019 Digicel Cup season is scheduled to kick off on Sunday, April 7, 2019.
PNG NRLC extended its gratitude to naming rights sponsors Digicel and platinum sponsor SP Brewery, for their continued support to our domestic professional competition.