- Incredible scenes as NRL stars arrived in Port Moresby
- Josh Addo-Carr & Nicho Hynes treated like rock stats
- Footy fans online were blown away by fanaticism
- Many now want to see PNG team play in the NRL
Footy fans have called for the NRL to permanently introduce a team from Papua New Guinea after the Prime Minister’s XIII players were mobbed in Port Moresby.
Mal Meninga’s squad were treated like rock stars in amazing scenes ahead of the clash against the locals on Saturday afternoon.
Incredible vision on social media showed the likes of Cody Walker, Josh Addo-Carr and Nicho Hynes receive a reception that would have left them feeling like royalty.
‘These are type of scenes you see in Europe when football teams arrive at the airport,’ one supporter posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
‘Why are we not building on this as the number 1 priority for the game?
Footy fans have called for the NRL to permanently introduce a team from Papua New Guinea after the Prime Minister’s XIII players were mobbed in Port Moresby (pictured left, winger Josh Addo-Carr)
Rugby league is the national sport in Papua New Guinea and is treated like a religion
Plenty of excited fans were over the moon to see their NRL heroes in the flesh
Another said: ‘Think about what [professional] rugby league would do for this nation. ‘Expansion with a PNG team must happen.’
A third weighed in with: ‘Once facilities and infrastructure are addressed, we can dare to dream that a team from PNG will play in the NRL.’
Comprised of players from NRL clubs who have already been eliminated from finals contention, the Prime Minister’s XIII returned last year after a Covid-enforced hiatus.
Eight players from last year’s World Cup-winning squad have been selected, with Rabbitohs lock Cameron Murray appointed captain for the first time.
The match traditionally showcases up-and-coming players as well, with Titans flyer Alofiana Khan-Pereira poised to wear his first representative jersey.
Returning the clash to PNG, its traditional home, for the first time since 2018 is another boost for the Pacific nation in its bid to secure the licence for the NRL’s 18th team.