PNG needs an NRL team, says James Graham

James Graham says Papua New Guinea should have a team in the NRL.
James Graham says Papua New Guinea should have a team in the NRL. CRAIG GOLDING

DEPARTING Canterbury captain James Graham says Papua New Guinea should be seriously considered for inclusion in the NRL.

Impressed with the country's passion and performance, the English forward is adamant that any expansion plans should include the country where rugby league is the national sport.

The PNG Hunters qualified for their first Queensland Cup final on the weekend, in the club's fourth campaign since entering the competition.

Boasting a massive fan base in Queensland, the Hunters' grand final at Suncorp Stadium is tipped to be the best attended in the competition's history.

They pack a punch on the field too, English forward Graham was left impressed after the two Tests he played against the Kumuls.

Graham, who will play for St George next season, said any talk of competition expansion had to include Australia's northern neighbour. "You talk about adding a second Brisbane team or a team on the Central Coast ... I think we have to get a team there," Graham said on Fox Sports' NRL 360.

"They really do epitomise what it means to lift (when playing) for your country."


James Graham will move to the Dragons next season.
James Graham will move to the Dragons next season. DEAN LEWINS

Canadian side Toronto Wolfpack are on track to one day play in the English Super League after earning promotion to the second tier Kingstone Press Championship on the weekend.

Graham said if that could work, then there was no reason an NRL side could not be based in PNG."If England can get a Toronto-based team playing in the Super League ... there's so much potential there and it's something that, if expansion is on the table, you've got to talk about a team from PNG," he said.

The Prime Minister's XIII will play PNG in Port Moresby on September 23, while the country will also host three World Cup games later this year.

NSW prop Aaron Woods will lead the Prime Minister's contingent and is expecting another tough clash against the men "built like granite".

"We beat them 50-0 and it was one of the hardest games I've ever played," he said.

Topics:  james graham nrl2017 papua new guinea hunters

News Corp Australia

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

North Burnett clubs moving on from theft

CONVICTED: Kourtney Ellen Grace Turner was sentenced to two years and six months in jail after being convicted of fraud.

TWO North Burnett clubs are looking to the future.

Farmers adapt from the heat to the wet

WET TO HOT: The rain came as a relief for James Bargenquast after last week's heat wave.

FROM scorching heat to downpours, that's life for a farmer.

Tyre Centre bowls day raising money for the hall

FULL HOUSE: Monto Tyre Centre celebrated a big birthday at the Bowls Club.

An afternoon of social bowls proved to be a big hit.

Local Partners