Rugby union in Papua New Guinea

Rugby union in Papua New Guinea

Rugby union in Papua New Guinea
Country Papua New Guinea
Governing body Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union
National team Papua New Guinea
Registered players 3,200 (total) [1]
Clubs 80

Papua New Guinea is a tier three rugby union playing nation. They began playing international rugby union in 1966 and have yet to make the Rugby World Cup. Teams from Papua New Guinea have competed in the Commonwealth games.

Although Papua New Guinea has a rugby union tradition, rugby league is far more popular and is the national sport. Despite this, there are 8520 registered players of rugby union and 57 clubs. There are no registered senior female players.

The national side is ranked 55th in the world (as of 2 June 2014).


  • Governing body 1
  • History 2
  • National team 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6

Governing body

The governing body is the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union.[2]


Rugby is long established in PNG, and tends to fall under the Australian sphere of influence. The game has been played as a folk sport in many regions, and the country's general lack of infrastructure has hindered its national development.

Due to its close relationship with Queensland in Australia, rugby league is very strong in the country, and the other code also tried aggressive expansion there in the 80s and 90s.[3] However, the professionalisation of rugby union, and a major fightback by RU (particularly the Australian Rugby Union) in PNG has paid off.[3]

Former Grand Slam Wallaby Brendan Moon lives on the island, and has been helping the development for a number of years.[3]

As with many of the of Pacific Nations, PNG has tended to do best at rugby sevens, and has a strong national sevens team.[3]

National team

The Papua New Guinea national rugby union team is nicknamed the "Puk-Puks", from the Tok Pisin word for "crocodiles". They have not qualified for a Rugby World Cup yet.

See also

External links

  • IRB PNG page
  • Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions, Vanuatu page
  • Oceania nations, Papua New Guine
  • Two days of rugby union sevens


  • Cotton, Fran (Ed.) (1984) The Book of Rugby Disasters & Bizarre Records. Compiled by Chris Rhys. London. Century Publishing. ISBN 0-7126-0911-3
  1. ^
  2. ^ Archives du Rugby: Papouasie Nouvelle Guinée (French) retrieved 29 September 2009
  3. ^ a b c d Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1) p72