Australian rugby league legend Mal Meninga has begun training Papua New Guinea's national rugby league team.
Meninga signed on last month to become the Kumuls' high performance director for the next five years.
He says his first priority is to get the side ready for the 14th Rugby League World Cup to be held in England and Wales this October.
"My short term goal is to make sure the players understand what is necessary to get to the next level," he said.
"That's what we're doing at the moment, trying to build a culture, a set of values, a philosophy for the players to understand what they need to do individually and as a group."
In Papua New Guinea, rugby is a national obsession and the high profile acquisition has given the team a big morale boost.
Meninga has put the players through their paces at the first training session for the year.
Kumuls second-rower, Larsan Marabe, says he is excited to be working with Meninga.
"For me, for myself, I'm so proud that I'm going to learn something out of him," he said.
"Get much better and fitter and play with the best in the world cup."
Kumuls coach, Adrian Lam, says having Meninga will help the team improve their fitness levels, which he says are at about 50 per cent compared to the international standard.
"We feel that if we can get them to a level that's equal with Australia, New Zealand and England, we feel we can really compete," he said.
"Once we add in the 'Mal Meninga factor' and also coaching on a full-time basis."
Papua New Guinea certainly doesn't lack raw talent, but it has struggled to prove itself on the world stage.
Despite this, Meninga is confident the team can grow to be a major presence in world rugby.
"The World Cup's coming back down to the southern hemisphere in 2017," he said.
"I want to see Papua New Guinea host World Cup games here in Papua New Guinea and also be successful." ABC
Mal Meninga has been a big factor in Queensland's dominance of State of Origin over the past seven years and now he's turning his attention further north.
Papua New Guinea has always been a hotbed of exceptional rugby league talent but without the right infrastructure they've never quite unlocked the formula to harnessing their potential.
But that might all be about to change after the Maroons' supercoach was hired by the PNG government to turn the country's national sport into a genuine contender at international level.
As High Performance Director for Team Kumul, Meninga is looking to turn the national side, coached by another Queensland great, Adrian Lam, into a smokey to fear in future World Cups
"There's so many people playing rugby league up here," Meninga told Fox Sports News.
"I've been coming here for such a long time and you can see the talent but we sort of just need to take it to another level and that's what the high performance program is all about.
"That's why we're implementing best practice, state of the art coaching programs so they can start to reach their potential."I believe they can make rapid improvement and hopefully we'll see a direct result of that from their performances in the World Cup this year."
But even if the 2013 World Cup comes too soon, Meninga is confident the five year program he has been charged with implementing could translate into a World Cup semi-final appearance, and maybe even a final, in the not too distant future.
"A semi-final and hopefully a final performance - that's a dream and a vision, but hopefully I think it's achievable. We'll see what happens but I think there's tremendous potential and enormous development opportunities for them," Meninga said.
"They can be a surprise packet. It all depends on the strides they make.
"It's going to take time but I believe if we keep implementing the right processes for all the right reasons rugby league up there will prosper."
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are pleased to announce their teams to take on the Canterbury-Bankstown
Bulldogs this Good Friday afternoon at ANZ Stadium with kick off scheduled for 4pm.
Rabbitohs Head Coach Michael Maguire has named a 20-man squad for this important match up against last
year’s Grand Finalists, naming the same 17 players that defeated the Panthers in round three away from home.
The NRL match is set for a 4pm kick off with the Holden Cup match due to commence at 1:45pm. Gates open at
Rabbitohs Ticketed Members have reciprocal rights to this away game, meaning they get free access to the
match with their Ticketed Membership card.
Ticketed Membership holders and ticket holders for this match can take advantage of the integrated ticketing
system, meaning they receive free travel on public transport to Sydney Olympic Park for the match. The
Rabbitohs recommend travelling by public transport due to the expected crowds at the NRL fixture and the
adjacent Sydney Royal Easter Show.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL team for round four is:
1) Greg Inglis
2) Nathan Merritt
3) Dylan Farrell
4) Bryson Goodwin
5) Andrew Everingham
6) John Sutton
7) Adam Reynolds
8) Sam Burgess
9) Issac Luke
10) Jeff Lima
11) Chris McQueen
12) Ben Te’o
13) Michael Crocker (c)
14) Nathan Peats
15) Ben Lowe
16) Dave Tyrrell
17) George Burgess
18) Roy Asotasi
19) Justin Hunt
20) Jason Clark
Head Coach – Michael Maguire
Taken from/By: FBC Report by: Indra Singh
Fiji Under-20 football star Rusiate Materereqa says his side will have to pick up the pace when they play New Zealand on Wednesday.
The Nadi rep, who is the top goal scorer in the competition so fare with three strikes, will be the key man for the side.
He adds, Fiji will have to be on top of its game to stand a chance of beating the Junior All Whites.
“Looking forward to that game against NZ. Every team which comes to the tournament wants to win the tournament and not only participate, especially New Zealand as they are the favorites for the tournament and it will be a tough match for us.”
Fiji Under-20 skipper Jale Dreloa says they have been weak in defence at times and need to work hard in rectifying this in the next two days.
“We have to look at our defence as some of the defence is lacking in marking the players and not reading the game very well.”
Fiji is on a bye today."
In games this afternoon, New Zealand takes on New Caledonia at 2, followed by Vanuatu battling Papua New Guinea at 4.30.
You can catch a live commentary of the Fiji-New Zealand game on Wednesday at 4.30pm on our sister station Radio Fiji 2 with the voice of soccer, Raymond Stoddart.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013, Port Moresby- PNGNRL has revealed a revised competition for the Digicel Cup 2013 with an announcement of new inclusions being TNA Lions and Mendi Muruks late application for 2013 has been approved. Including new franchise sponsor for the Mt Hagen Eagles in Wamp Nga Group of Companies.
The entry of the Hela Wigmen, Wamp Nga Eagles, Mendi Muruks and TNA Lions is conditional and will be on a 1 year provisional lease subject to each franchise meeting the requirements of the PNGNRL this season.
This brings the Digicel Cup competition to feature (10) ten teams being the Stop N Shop Port Moresby Vipers, Gulf Isapea, Hela Wigmen, Enga Mioks, Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles, Bintangor Goroka Lahanis, Agmark Guria, Snax Tigers, TNA Lions and Mendi Muruks. As well announcing the Digicel Cup kick off is now scheduled for April 14th.
General Manager Hubert Warupi stated that the Board had received the late application from TNA Lions and Mendi Muruks early in the week and discussed their application. The decision to accept TNA Lion was relatively easy as the franchise would be maintained by current franchise sponsor TNA Holdings, and on those grounds the PNGNRL Board granted the application.
While for the Mt Hagen franchise the Wantok Gaming System sponsorship has come to an end due to non commitment from the WGS sponsor.
Warupi further added that a very late application from a consortium of individuals and companies seeking to sponsor Mendi Muruks was received on the 16th March was considered and required to be assessed by the PNGNRL to ensure that the team met the stringent requirements of the PNGNRL, being that the team is sufficiently financed with a major sponsor, does have a home ground and players to field a team. Warupi added that although Mendi Muruks was an existing team the major difference was that the sponsors behind the team were not known and we needed to meet with consortium to ensure the team is financially sustainable, good value for the PNGNRL and provides for the best interests of the game.
The PNGNRL has approved eight (9) venues with new inclusion Tente Oval in Mendi to be the home ground for the Hela Wigmen and Mendi Muruks, while Mt Hagen will have Rebiamul and Kagamuga ovals to use and Goroka the NSI Venue and Sir Danny Leah Oval as spare. Digicel Cup fixtures are now being finalised to be circulated within the week.
In other news, a referee refresher program will be conducted in Port Moresby from the 22nd to 23rd March for selected Digicel Cup match officials in readiness for the bumper season ahead, a total of 30 referees from around the country will undergo a high performance referee program which will be facilitated by the PNGNRL. The Digicel Cup referees have the privilege to have National Gaming Control Board as naming right sponsor for the 3rd year now.
Mal Meninga: Credit: Getty Images
Mal Meninga has joined Papua New Guinea's coaching staff, combining his new role with his Queensland State of Origin job.
Rugby league legend Mal Meninga is joining Papua New Guinea's coaching staff in a major boost to their preparations for this year's World Cup.
Meninga on Tuesday signed a five-year deal to become performance director for the Kumuls, who have been drawn alongside Samoa, France and defending champions New Zealand in group B of the 14-team tournament to be held in the United Kingdom and France towards the end of the year.
The 52-year-old former Kangaroo will work alongside PNG coach Adrian Lam, combining his new role with that of coach of Queensland's State of Origin side.
Meninga has a long association with Papua New Guinea and has coached the Australian Prime Minister's XIII in its annual clash with the Kumuls since 2006.
In the Digicel Cup challenge, players and fans of Mendi Muruks have been assured the team will take part. The assurance came from the patron of the club, Percy Marai.
He explained that sponsor Tom Higgins is currently out of the country, resulting in a breakdown of communication between the PNG National Rugby League and club executives. It led to suggestions that the major club will not take part.
Executives of long time rugby league franchise commonly known as the SBSL Mendi Muruks are surprised with the decision by the PNGNRL to exclude Mendi Muruks in the semi-professional rugby league competition this season.
Parton of the Mendi Muruks Major Michael Percy-Marai has broken the silence on why the Muruks didn’t register their interest to participate earlier.
He says the main man behind the Muruks, Tom Higgins has been out of the country and is the point of contact for the franchise.
But there is promising news, as local MPs from the province led by Sothern Highlands Governor William Powi have vowed to back the Muruks up in terms of sponsorship.
Parton of the club Major Percy Marai has put to rest all the talk of the Medni Muruks missing out on the 2013 Digicel Cup season and rest assured the pride of the Southern Highlands will still stand tall come next month when the Digicel cup kicks off in Port Moresby. EMTV
THE Pacific Games Council is satisfied with the state of preparations for the 2015 Pacific Games that would be held in Papua New Guinea.
Council president Vidhya Lakhan and executive director Andrew Minogue visited Port Moresby from February 25 to March 1.
At the end of the visit, Lakhan noted very positive changes that had been delivered over the past 10 months under the new minister of sports. He said the council was impressed by the delivery plan of for the games facilities outlined by the venues, infrastructure and equipment committee and the organisational planning details developed by the games organising committee.
"These recent developments have satisfied the Pacific Games Council that PNG will be ready to host an excellent Pacific Games in 2015," Lakhan said.
"The council's confidence levels are improving rapidly.
"The fact the Bank of South Pacific has signed on to officially sponsor the games underscored the confidence that commercial sector and the stakeholders can have the 2015 Pacific Games will be a success."
He added more work remained to be done to meet the deadline and the council looked forward to seeing further improvements and developments, the next time they visited PNG.
"However, because of the considerable loss of time after 2009, critically important work remains to be done to meet the deadlines for the construction of the games facilities.
"The council urges all stakeholders to continue working co-operatively together to deliver all of the necessary facilities in a timely fashion.
"This includes the timely release of funds by the PNG government so that the necessary construction contracts can be let as and when required," Lakhan said.
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are delighted to announce the re-signing of South Sydney Junior Nathan Peats for
a further two years today, meaning he will wear the red and green until at least the end of the 2015 season.
Peats, 22, has played almost 40 NRL matches since making his debut for the Club against Manly-Warringah in
round four, 2011. He also played in 46 under 20s matches for the Rabbitohs, leading them as captain to the 2010
under 20s Grand Final against the New Zealand Warriors.
Peats has gone on to represent the Indigenous All Stars on two occasions in 2012 and 2013, and has become an
important member of the Rabbitohs forward pack over the past three seasons.
Rabbitohs Head Coach Michael Maguire is very happy to see Peats commit to the Club for a further two seasons.
“Nathan is one of a number of South Sydney juniors in our ranks, and I’m pleased to see him earn another
contract after all of the hard work he has put in over the past two years,” Coach Maguire said.
“He led the way in everything throughout the pre-season and he has applied himself to everything, both on and off
“‘Peatsy’ is an important part of our squad and it’s great to see the Peats name continue to be part of the Club,
following in his father’s footsteps, Geordi Peats.
“He’s applying great pressure to the players in the starting line-up at the moment and he adds to the competitive
nature for positions.
“I’m really happy that he’s staying on with us and I look forward to continuing our work together.”
Peats is excited about remaining a Rabbitoh.
“It’s great to be staying here at Souths for another two years,” Peats said.
“I’m a South Sydney junior and never wanted to play anywhere else.
“I’m really enjoying playing under ‘Madge’ (Coach Maguire) and I’ve bought into the culture he’s instilled here at
“I’m looking forward to more success at the Club and playing my part as we strive to win the Club’s next
Name: Nathan Peats
DOB: 5 October 1990
Junior Club: La Perouse Panthers
Position: Utility forward
South Sydney Media Unit
The vice-chancellor of Papua New Guinea’s University of Technology has expressed frustration after being deported from the country for the second time in a month.
Albert Schram has had a year long battle with the University Council which, despite having been replaced by the government, has effected his deportation by making what Dr Schram says were false statements to immigration officials.
Immigration officials refused the Dutch national entry to Port Moresby last month while issues surrounding Mr Schram’s appointment and the University Council were being addressed.
Dr Schram attempted to enter PNG again last week but was refused entry, and was told he needed to apply for a new visa and work permit.
However he says he never had trouble entering PNG during the past year on his current visa.
Dr Schram, who has significant support from students and the staff at Unitech in Lae, says he wants to return because he feels he has a mission to help the troubled institution. RNZI