By Tere Alex – EMTV Sports, Port Moresby
Rugby 9s will be making its debut in the Pacific Games and home side, PNG, are hoping to feature prominently.
A 70 men – train on squad has already been announced by the PNGRFL. A final 15 will stand in for the home ground battle.
As part of preparations, the super rugby 9s competition will commence next month, involving the four confederates in the country
With the inclusion of rugby 9s into the 28 competing sports in the Pacific Games, PNG is expected to pose the biggest threat to other Pacific Island Countries.
With Fiji coming strong in rugby 7’s, they will likely apply the same tactics to stamp their mark in the rugby 9’s.
But the focus remains on the home side, who has lined up trials leading up to July.
Following the announcement of the Cabramatta 9s in Sydney, at the end of this month, is the Super 9’s competition involving four confederates in the country. The announcement was made today by PNGRFL Chairman, Sandis Tsaka.
The competition is also expected to target potential Digicel Cup players, however most importantly; it will be used as a selection platform for the Pacific Games.
The competition will be based on the ‘Sinners and Saints System’. The top two highest ranking teams from each respective tournament will be automatic entries to the Pacific Balanced Fund 9s competition slotted for March.
Gabagaba in the Central province will play host to the Southern confederate, Mt Hagen for the Highlands region, Northern Leg in Madang, and teams from the New Guinea Islands will converge in Kimbe from March 7-8.