The merit squad for the Women’s Division have been released (refer to list below) after selections were made following the recent inaugural Telikom National Nines Championships in Port Moresby.
1.Joanne LAGONA Southern
2.Lisa-Marie ALU Highlands
3.Belinda GWASAMUN Highlands
4.Martha MOLOWIA Southern
5.Lyiannah ALLEN Highlands
6.Lila MALABAG Southern
7.Delilah AHOSE Highlands
8.Regila WILFRED Highlands
9.Rosewita KAPO Southern
10.Gloria KAUPA Highlands
11.Bethshiba ALOI Southern
12.Leilah KEROWA Southern
13.Susan YOL Southern
14.Veronica WAULA Southern
15.Michelle JOHN Northern
16.Tere KINIWI Southern
17.Freda WAULA Southern
18.Lorraine TARAO NGI
19.Doreen WILLIAM Southern
The merit squad will head into a monitoring program that will include an extended squad of 25 players from each Confederate that participated in the Confederate Nines.
Potential players that took part in the Confederate Trials and are aprt of the women’s game across our affiliates but missed out on playing in the Confederate Nines have also been considered and will be part of the extended regional squads.
“We are giving the girls a second chance by putting them all in this monitoring program,” said PNGRFL Women’s High Performance Coordinator Della Audama.
“The women’s game is a strong and emerging game globally and as such we are adamant that due consideration and support needs to be provided,” Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stanley Hondina, said.
The PNG Orchids are currently ranked fourth in the world, and with a World Cup looming in 5 months’ time, it is within PNGRFL’s interest to prepare for the international event.
“We do not have a semiprofessional competition for the women like men’s Digicel Cup and the Hunters, this model of monitoring and training fills in that gap. Therefore, we are very supportive of the program and are committed to assist in preparing our girls well for the RLWC at the end of the year,” said Mr Hondina.
“We are confident that we have a good coach in Ben and briefly his attendance to the short Nines Championships was evident, he knows what he wants to do and also knows where we are with the female game here in PNG,” Mr Hondina further added.
PNG Orchids Head Coach Ben Jeffries expressed his appreciation of the commitment and passion displayed by the females over the recent National Nines Championships.
“Flying over to Port Moresby for the Telikom National Nines was an exciting experience where I walked away pleased on what transpired over the 2-day carnival,” Coach Jeffries said.
“I certainly went away post tournament excited to be working with the PNG Orchids and one of the most pleasing aspects was the ability to see the females play some free-flowing footy post covid barriers with plenty of passion and that’s something we’ll try to bottle once we start playing together as a group.”
“I’m additionally looking forward to getting over to PNG soon, plus to see how the Nationals pans out shortly. The extended squads from here will endure plenty of education going forward not only to assist this year’s World Cup players, but also all staff and future groups post tournament so that the PNG Orchids become a recognized force within International Rugby League.”
The monitoring program will span over 3 months facilitated by qualified trainers from Digicel Cup Franchises and NRL in PNG, who have assisted with monitoring programs since 2019.
The monitoring program is scheduled to begin with testing and collection of players’ data on the 7th of this month, and will cover camps with the venue yet to be announced, while sessions will be held at the Santos National Football Stadium in the lead up to the Women’s Nationals set for July.
The extended squad for each Confederate will be announced later this month.