Papua New Guinea
First WC Appearance: 1985
No. Of WC Titles: 0
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The Papua New Guinea Kumuls are sure to quickly become a firm favourite of any rugby fan who watches them play as there explosive all action style of play really is a joy to watch.
Although they are on of the smaller nations who play rugby league they are blessed with many of the games great players and with a number of the Papa New Guinea players plying their trade in the NRL and the Super League, they will be a match for anybody.
Paul Aiton (Wakefield Trinity, Leeds Rhinos, Catalans Dragons) and James Segeyaro (Penrith Panthers, Leeds Rhinos) have shown the quality that Papua New Guinea can produce and now that there is a much-improved pathway to professional Rugby League for players from PNG, there is a strong possibility that the frequency of these stars increases which will take PNG to the next level.
There is now a professional Rugby League in Port Moresby, the capital city of Papua New Guinea, called the PNG Hunters who play in the Australian Queensland Cup, just 1 level below the NRL. This allows players from PNG to train in a full-time environment, play against a high-quality level of opponent and of course get noticed by the big teams from Australia. This has led to a number of players making the move over to Australia and has built up the exposure of the sport throughout PNG with Hunters matches shown live on TV and their matches are played in front of big crowds at the National Stadium.
With so many of the Kumuls teams playing for the Hunters, they have a unity and comradery that many national test sides just cannot match.
Papua New Guinea is the only nation in the world that has Rugby League as its official national sport so it’s probably so surprise that since first entering the Rugby League World Cup in 1985 they have been ever presents.