by Elijah Lavett – EMTV Sport, Prt Moresby
It’s been a very important week for Papua New Guinea Rugby League, PNG’s National Representative Team, the Kumuls yesterday launched their 40th anniversary jersey at the Holiday Inn hotel, in Port Moresby.
Rugby league has been played in PNG since its introduction in the Gold Fields of Wau and Bulolo in the early 1930’s.
In 1975, the first International representative team played against a visiting Great Britain Lions. Since the game in 1975, only 245 proud young men have ever donned the famous red, black and gold jersey.
These men have become hero’s and role models for many young Papua New Guinean’s growing up and have inspired many, to aspire to be the best that they can be in all facets of life.
Fortunately, some were present at the jersey launch. With the desire to strengthen PNG roots and develop a sport and organisation that pays homage to its heritage, PNGRFL produced this 40th year Commemorative jersey.
PNG Rugby league and the Government have set proper platforms for future rugby league stars to one day wear the kumuls jersey, the most outstanding example being the SP Hunters program.
Minister for Sport and National Events Justin Tkatchenko, said “PNGRFL and the government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, have set platforms in place to build future stars and build players to gear up for the 2017 World Cup.”
Minister Tkatchenko also spoke on the bid for Port Moresby to host the Kumuls pool matches during the world cup in 2017.
The NRL Board made a visit to Port Moresby to inspect the venues earlier this year, “We are looking forward to host the Kumuls Pool matches, the Loyde Robson oval, Sir Hubert Murray Stadium and the Sir John Guise Stadium will be ready by then and would be a great opportunity for the Kumuls to play in front of the home crowd,” said Tkatchenko.
The jersey has the names of all 245 Kumul players that have ever worn the jumper in a fully sanctioned test match following the design of the original jersey worn by the kumuls in the 1970’s. This special edition jersey will be worn by the Kumuls when they play Fiji in the Pacific test, next week Saturday in Gold Coast, Australia.