Posted By Staff Reporter
Not content with resurrecting Queensland's State of Origin team, Mal Meninga wants to also help boost Papua New Guinea rugby league by assisting their mooted entry in next year's second-tier Queensland Cup.
Meninga started a five-year deal as PNGRL high performance manager this year but confirmed he also wanted to assist their Queensland Cup entry - a small step toward their ultimate dream of earning an NRL licence.
Queensland Cup general manager Jamie O'Connor confirmed an in-principle agreement had been given to the PNG group, headed by their NRL bid group CEO Brad Tassell, for a start next year.
The PNG government have reportedly moved to address security fears sparked by the recent brutal attack on trekkers by covering the costs of private security teams to accompany Queensland-based players into their team's home Port Moresby.
Asked if he would assist the PNG Queensland Cup side, Meninga said: "A consultancy, advisory, mentoring role would be good".
"I think they will do very well in the competition."
Having inspired eight straight Origin series wins for Queensland, PNG will be hoping Meninga's Midas touch has not worn off ahead of this year's World Cup.
He has worked alongside PNG coach Adrian Lam in the countdown to the tournament.
"The game has receded there a little bit in recent times," Meninga said of PNG.
"I am trying to implement some development programs that is going to help them.
"We hope they get into the Queensland Cup next year which will aid their development.
"They are a rugby league mad country.
"They have so much talent up there any program or competition they get their hands on they will quickly develop.
"They will be a force in the future no doubt."
The Kumuls have been drawn alongside Samoa, France and defending champions New Zealand in group B of the 14-team World Cup tournament to be held in the United Kingdom and France.