Date: 31/8/15

Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League kicks off its 2015 National Confederates championships in Lae this Tuesday.

Southern, Highlands, New Guineas Islands and Northern confederates have finalised their teams for the championships and will be flying into the Morobe capital for what is considered an integral part of the PNGRFL programs at the Lae Rugby league grounds.

The schoolboys Under 16 championships gets the rugby league show underway on the opening day on Tuesday with the Under 18 championships following on Wednesday.

The women’s championships is scheduled for Thursday with the senior men closing the championships on Friday.

All divisions will be involved in a one-day competition with the winners declared based on the most number of the three games won or if tied percentage deciding that. This format means there will not be any finals.

Representative squads will be selected for games earmarked for their respective divisions but if these have not been decided yet an honorary team will be named instead.

For senior men, national selectors will be following the progress of the players as closely as possible to identify players who will be drafted into the squad to prepare for the Prime Ministers 13 game between Papua New Guinea and Australia.

The rest of the players for this game on September 26 in Port Moresby will be picked from the Digicel Cup competition, which has its grand final scheduled for this Saturday, September 5.

The Under 16 schoolboys will also select a side to play a New South Wales side on September 27 as well.

PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka said that the four days of competition will provide an array of talents of players available that national selectors have an opportunity to identify for the various development pathway programs currently available in the country.

He said a good example of the success of the confederate championship is Kato Ottio and Brandy Peter, among the prominent names who were identified and drafted into the SP Hunters team and have since become rising stars for the future.

“It will be great to unearth similar talent, in fact we can immediately expose them to a higher level of competition to further monitor their potential during the upcoming Prime Ministers 13 game against Australia, “ Tsaka said.

Digicel Cup players will form the core of the Prime Ministers 13 team with the SP Hunters players unavailable because they will be involved with the Intrust Super Cup finals series.

A squad will be announced as soon as possible after the Digicel Cup grand final this Saturday between Simbu’s TNA Lions and Agmark Gurias from East New Britain, the game set for kick off at the Sir John Guise Stadium.

Mascord Brownz