PNGRFL CEO Brad Tassell has today confirmed Rugby League Immortals Wally Lewis and Andrew Johns will be special guests at the SP PNG Hunters gala season launch on Saturday the 22nd February 2014.
The State of Origin and Australian Legends will appear along with MC and former Manly and Kangaroos Star John Gibbs at the clubs launch at Dynasty Restaurant Vision City.
Tassell said he expected a full house at the launch:
“It’s a massive moment in PNG rugby League history and is the last event fans, supporters and sponsors will get to see the team at before our opening game against Redcliffe in Brisbane a week later. To have two of the greatest rugby league players the world has seen be a part of the event is fantastic for the club, sponsors and the people of PNG. PNG’s entry into the Intrust Super Cup has attracted enormous interest in Australia and I know Wally, Andrew and John jumped at the chance to be a part of the launch and are all looking forward to being here.
It will be a huge night. All of the SP PNG Hunters players and coaches will be there and we will be auctioning of the clubs inaugural jerseys worn in the pre-‐season trials. We will also have raffles, other major auction pieces, as well as the launch of the new club song written and performed by PNG star Jokema. I would encourage all businesses to get behind this historic event, show your support and give the players a boost before our opening game against Redcliffe.”
PNGRFL Chairman Sandis Tsaka said it was exciting times for PNG Rugby League:
The PNGRFL is pleased that two Immortals of the game have agreed to be here in Port Moresby for the launching of the SP PNG Hunters participation in the Intrust Super Cup. This is an indication of the greater international support and recognition of the initiatives we are undertaking in PNG to improve the standard of the game in PNG.
The PNGRFL and the Rugby League fraternity in PNG are excited by the opportunities that the participation of the SP PNG Hunters in the Intrust Super Cup will provide for players and officials of the game in PNG.
Lewis said he was looking forward to the trip:
“I congratulate Brad, his team and the Queensland Rugby League for their foresight and determination in getting PNG into the competition. We all know the PNG people are extremely passionate about the game and that’s great to see. It’s a big step forward for the game in PNG to have a team competing in the Intrust Super Cup and I am honoured to be part of the club’s season launch. I am looking forward to the launch and I’m excited about the Team’s opening game against Redcliffe. It’s been a long time coming but PNG deserve to be in the competition and I fully support them and wish them luck for the seasons ahead.”
Johns said PNG’s entry was exciting for Rugby League in Australia and PNG;
“It’s important for the game that PNG are strong and their inclusion in the Intrust Super Cup will greatly assist in their competitiveness internationally. They’ll add flair, excitement and unpredictability to the competition and I have no doubt they will boost crowd numbers and viewing audiences when they are featured on TV. They will be very tough at home and teams will know they have played a game of footy after every game. The passion of the players and the PNG people is infectious and I’m keen to be on board. I’m told the game against Redcliffe could bring the biggest opening season crowd in Intrust Super Cup history, which shows how much support PNG will have not only from Papua New Guineans but Aussies too. I’m looking forward to the launch weekend and encourage supporters to book their tables early as it will be a memorable night.”