Rugby League BY SIMON KESLEP The Papua New Guinea Rugby league looks after its players well, says PNG RFL chairman Sandis Tsaka. “We obviously cannot compete with the type of salaries that Australian Rugby league and New Zealand rugby league pays their players,” he said. “On par with that as a second tier nation we look after our players well.” Tsaka did not disclose the actual fixed amount of payment made to any selected PNG Kumuls or PNG Orchids given that is it is a contractual payment players signed up for. “Without their permission I cannot release that, I can only tell you that we have no player payment issues like other pacific nations-Fiji, Tonga and others,” said Tsaka. He said our players are well looked after and most of the players do play for the pride of wearing the national jerseys. He made reference to players like Nene McDonald, skipper David Mead who are attached with big contracts in overseas competitions. “They come here because of the pride of wearing the national jerseys,” said Tsaka. According to Tsaka, they (PNG RFL) will continue to work on means of improving that with their sponsors and partners. “As it is now, the boys are well looked after,” said Tsaka. The performance of the PNG LNG Kumuls throughout this year was also lauded by Tsaka saying that the national team has again performed really well. He added being at the back end of a very successful Hunters program, players were able to perform at the top elite level (Queensland Intrust Super Cup) and also as a pathway opportunity for domestic players. “We have ticked both boxes (SP Hunters program and PNG Kumuls) in the last five years,” said Tsaka. “Performance this year for the PNG Kumuls-we won against Fiji Bati and also hosted two international matches with the visiting England Knights team.” He said their received good feedbacks from the International Rugby League Federation on the performance of the PNG Kumuls this year. “Over the next coming years we are working and putting together a young team in preparation for the 2021 World Cup in England,” said Tsaka.