Meninga push for league success

first_imgRugby league development in Papua New Guinea is a challenge because it hasn’t been happening over the past years, says living league legend Mal Meninga.For PNG to perform on the international stage, the younger generation of players needs to be educated.That’s what  Team Kumul head coach Mal Meninga  says. He is also heading the Team Kumul program.Meninga, who visits  PNG on a monthly basis, said the only way to educate the kids better is through getting formal accreditation to all the coaches, referees, trainers and everybody associated with the game.He said we also need to educate the development officers because they are the educators of rugby league.“We need to train them up to a level where any person that’s involved with rugby league will have the necessary skills to educate the younger players.’’Meninga said the better prepared kids, the better opportunities and greater pathways, the more likely they were going to reach their potential.“We have to create a pathway for the children to play in the national rugby league and the national team, and if we are doing that then that means we are very competitive on the world stage.“We need to educate our educators who are the coaches, referees, trainers and development officers which is already taking place but this must be constant.“I’m sure it will become a sustainable program over the years as we aim to improve rugby league in PNG taking small steps at the moment,” he said.Meninga said that the Hunters program was  a bonus for us to be able to play the ‘week in week out’ rugby league but we shouldn’t get too carried away with that because it’s a second tier competition in Australia.He said PNG will be playing the Australian Kangaroos in the Prime Minister’s 13 and also the four nations challenge and we still have a long way to go in order to win these competitions.“We are heading in the right direction which is fantastic with the development programs.“If we keep our development programs going and educate everybody about the game, there’s a greater chance of us someday beating Australia in the World Cup,” Meninga said.PNGRFL’s four development programs include the 6 to 12 years (PNGRFL in partnership with Australian NRL/AusAID, 13 to 18 years (Schoolboys), and 19 to A Grade.These junior level programs will help develop players to enter the Digicel Cup, PNG Hunters and the Kumuls/International Fixtures.last_img read more