Sports diplomacy has taken a turn to uniting borders, foster mutual understanding and promote shared values and this is seen in a AUD$5.5 million support from the Australian government to invest into PNG’s rugby league pathways.

Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy is in Papua New Guinea and confirmed this at the NRL-related dinner that was hosted tonight with 100-plus guests expected to attend.

The Government of Australia is steadfast to inject massive AUD$5.5 million (K13.4 million) to support PNG NRL Bid.

Minister for International development and the Pacific Pat Conroy made the announcement Wednesday in Port Moresby.

Conroy added that Australia’s vision is to see a PNG team enter the NRL competition successfully after 2025.

“We supported the PM’s 13 games, and we also announced the support to have annual schools girls and boys in PNG and Australia,” Conroy said.

“Tonight we are announcing Aus $5.5 million (K13.4 million) to further support the programs in PNG.

“We want to see that happen and a new NRL team in PNG.”

PNG NRL Bid board chairman Wapu Sonk said the committees are working on getting the licence in 2025 and vying to participate in 2027.

“Basically the bid, since April last year when the board of directors were appointed, we have been working with stakeholders and Australia stakeholders, NRL and Australian partners,” Sonk said.

“This is the second round and also to get the structures right so it will stand up for the corporate compliance.

“The NRL bid is actually a company we are creating, not just a team. We want to get the governance right.

“Where we are now is the launching. The announcement last year was the expression of desire to have a team in the NRL. Now we are ready to work and start the programme.”