The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) has tentatively set April 24 / 25 to kick off it’s 2021 rugby league season pending approval from the Office of the Pandemic Controller.
PNGRFL CEO Stanley Hondina said this was due to the new measures announced last week by Controller David Manning giving everyone at least a month to strictly follow and adhere with, following the recent spike on Covid 19 positive cases.
Hondina saying PNGRFL, are obliged to strictly adapt to the ‘niupela pasin’ protocols and like every citizen in PNG respect and adhere to these new measures.
The ‘Banis Protocols’ under which the Digicel Cup competition was successfully run and completed in 2020 is being reviewed and revised to include selected affiliated leagues and schools to start their competitions.
“We have submitted these revised protocols to the Controller’s Office for approval so that the 12 x Digicel Cup franchises, compliant affiliated leagues and schools in the country can resume preparations and training to tentatively kick off on the weekend of April 24 and 25, 2021,” Hondina said. “This includes closed opposed sessions and trial matches with no inter provincial travels over the next four (4) weeks.”
Hondina adding that the Digicel Cup was the 2nd rugby league competition after Australia’s NRL played worldwide in 2020.
The PNG National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) managed the Digicel Cup franchise draws, travels, accommodation and all associated activities quite strictly under the Banis Protocols with NIL transmission of the virus reported.
Hondina said. “We appreciate the support and co-operation of the Office of Pandemic Controller and staff, PNGSF, the Digicel Cup franchises, our valued stakeholders and partners and the rugby league families and supporters in PNG for its success.
He urged all franchises, leagues and schools in the meantime to please read carefully and familiarize with the Banis – Game Day, Club, Player and Medical – Protocols that have been sent. Observe and practice these new measures until and when approval is granted.