Papua New Guinea national rugby league team

Papua New Guinea National Rugby League Team

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Papua New Guinea national rugby league team

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The Papua New Guinea national rugby league team represents Papua New Guinea internationally in the sport of rugby league football.

In Papua New Guinea, Rugby league is highly popular and is regarded as the country’s national sport. The national side are known as the Kumuls (bird of paradise in Tok Pisin). Many Papua New Guinean players have left the country in order to pursue professional rugby league careers in Great Britain and Australia.

A team representing Papua New Guinea (generally made up of a mixture of locally based players and International Players) plays an Australian Prime Minister's XIII in an annual match. The Australian side consists mostly of developing players from the premier competition the National Rugby League (NRL).


Rugby league was first played in Papua New Guinea in the late forties; it was introduced to the nation by Australian soldiers stationed there during and after the Second World War. Papua New Guinea were admitted to the game’s International Federation in 1974. On 6 July 1975, at Lloyd Robnson Oval, in Port Moresby the Kumuls played their first ever international. They were beaten 40-12 by England. The English team were en route to Australia and New Zealand to fulfil away fixtures during the 1975 World Cup.

They first entered the Rugby League World Cup for the 1985-89 competition, though it was not until 1995 that they won away from home. In 1987 The Kumuls stage their first full test playing tour of Britain, after playing BARLA...
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