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Oceania Rugby Responds to Sports Minister

Regional tournament director of World Rugby and Oceania Rugby Operation’s Manager, Michael Groom, has responded to claims made by Minister for Sports, Justin Tkatchenko, on the PNG Rugby Football Union (PNGRFU) being incompetent, leading in to the 2015 Oceania Rugby Cup.

Groom said in a statement he was pleased with the efforts made by the PNGRFU to ensure the tournament was a success.

“If you’re to canvas all the teams, they have all had a great stay here and it was a very competitive tournament.

“Thank you to PNG Rugby and the people of PNG and various government authorities for hosting a great tournament, and we look forward to coming back,” Groom said.

Prior to the commencement of the tournament, Minister Tkatchenko said “the government would have liked to have seen a proactive approach from day one.”

PNGRFU General Manager, Frank Genia, acknowledged the minister’s concerns and admitted that there was a lot more to do for rugby in the country.

“For the minister to say that PNGRFU management and executives are incompetent is not true.”

Genia also made note of the lack of support from the PNG Sports Foundation in assisting with training and playing venues.

Genia stated in a press release, “The PNGRFU wrote to the CEO of the PNG Sports Foundation in December, 2014 requesting use of the facilities.”

“It was disappointing and frustrating to receive this notice via text message from the CEO of the Sports Foundation without any formal notification,” Genia said.

World Rugby Official Wayne Shuster said, “unfortunately no one had foreseen the unavailability of the facilities that had been committed to the tournament.”

“This left the office only two weeks to effectively save the tournament and we are grateful to PNG Rugby and the PNG Government for hosting and facilitating this crucial development program event within the given time frame.”

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