Lions Tour 2019 and Oceania Cup Fixtures

THE Papua New Guinea Kumuls will compete in two major Rugby League International Federation-sanctioned challenges this year.
Source: Post and image National Newspaper
Southern hemisphere general manager Jeremy Edwards was in the country yesterday to present the RLIF calendar highlighting the inaugural Oceania Cup and the British Lions tour, which the Kumuls will be part of.

Competing in the Oceania Cup are Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, PNG, and co-hosts Australia and New Zealand.

Australia, New Zealand and Tonga make up pool A while Samoa, Fiji and PNG occupy Pool B.

Pool A and pool B will compete for a trophy and shield respectively.

The last-placed nation in pool A will be demoted to pool B and the first-placed side in pool B will be promoted to pool A.

“The exciting thing about this is to see the nations play for something that is meaningful and will start every mid-year,” Edwards said.

The Kumuls first Oceania Cup fixture is against Samoa in Sydney on June 22 and the second against Fiji in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Nov 9.

The Kumuls as with similar mid-year Tests are set to feature mostly Australian based talent with players from the Hunters and Q-Cup as well as the NRL to considered.

Head coach Michael Marum, pictured, as well as the PNGRFL are yet to confirm whether players from the UK will be considered for the June international.

Meanwhile, the Lions tour will be held in New Zealand and PNG, with the Brits playing Tonga on Oct 26, New Zealand on Nov 2 and Nov 9, and the Kumuls in Port Moresby on Nov 16.

The PNG Orchids (women) will also get an opportunity to play an international test against a Pacific All-Stars side on Nov 16.

In attendance to witness the launch was New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Greg Peters, PNG Rugby Football League chairman Sandis Tsaka, Immigration and Border Security Minister Petrus Thomas and PNG Sports Foundation chief executive Peter Tsiamalili Jr.

Tsaka said more international fixtures would improve PNG’s ranking.

Fixtures – Oceania Cup:

Pool A – New Zealand v Tonga (at Mt Smart on June 22), Australia v New Zealand (in Wollongong on Oct 25), Australia v Tonga (at Eden Park on Nov 2);

Pool B – Samoa v PNG (in Sydney on June 22), Fiji v Samoa (at Eden Park on Nov 2), PNG v Fiji (in Christchurch on Nov 9)

Lions Tour:

Lions v Tonga (in Hamilton on Oct 26), Lions v New Zealand (at Eden Park on Nov 2), Lions v New Zealand (in Christchurch on Nov 9), Lions v PNG (in Port Moresby on Nov 16).

Source: The National Newspaper | By Isaac Liri| 02, April 2019.

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