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Super coach Gould looks at PNG joining NRL


AAP – AUSTRALIAN super coach and media commentator, Phil Gould, leaves Port Moresby today after a two-day fact-finding mission looking into the prospects of a PNG team entering Australia's National Rugby League.

PNG NRL bid team general manager, Bev Broughton, hopes Gould's presence can help spread the word about the bid in Australia.

In a country where rugby league is religion, PNG fans want a team in the NRL in 2015, a massive task considering the difficulties involved.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step," Gould told reporters.

"I don't think it's going to be easy and I don't think it's going to happen overnight but the country has to move forward and rugby league can be a big part of that," he said.

"It should be something that our code in Australia at least explores."

Queensland coach and former Australia great, Mal Meninga, also supports the idea but, like many critics, suggests PNG first enter a team in the Queensland Cup.

Buoyed by the massive liquefied natural gas project that is hyped to double PNG's GDP, the government has committed $8.2 million to the bid with most reserved for a 30,000-seat stadium in Port Moresby.

Sports Minister Philemon Embel says "whatever the cost" the government will build the stadium as they are "100 per cent behind this NRL bid."

But many problems remain.

PNG hopes Gould can tame the basic administration issues along with a host of logistical and other realities.

Earlier this month the national side's coach, Adrian Lam, broke ranks voicing disappointment at a continuing court battle over who is president of the PNG Rugby Football League.


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Jason, NRL Fan

Amazing prospect, I would really love to have PNG in the NRL.

I have many friends in Australia who are from PNG and I understand their absolute love of the game.

Hopefully we can add PNG to the game along with Perth and Adelaide. Go Roosters!

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