The NRLW semi finals and the Prime Minister’s XIII matches will combine for Rugby League “Footy Fest” at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, September25.
The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) today announced the quadruple header, which will provide eight hours of Rugby League. The semi finals of the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership will be immediately followed by the men’s and women’s Australian PM’s XIII matches against their PNG counterparts – the first PM’s XIII matches since 2019 due to COVID.
Prime Minister the Honourable Anthony Albanese acknowledged the importance of these fixtures to Australia and Papua New Guinea.
“Rugby League is part of the social fabric that ties Australia and Papua New Guinea together,” Prime Minister Albanese said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing some of the best players from our two nations go head-to-head in the PM’s XIII.
“I’m proud that Australia is able to host the men’s and women’s PM’s XIII this year, and look forward to its return to Papua New Guinea in 2023.”
ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys AM said the combination of the PM’s XIII matches and the NRLW semi finals is a historic first for the game in line with the Commission’s focus on both the women’s game and international rugby league.
“The Prime Minister’s XIII is one of the great traditions of the game dating back to 2005, and it also means so much to the people of Papua New Guinea,” Mr V’landys said.
“A full day of International rugby league alongside the semi finals of the NRLW will make this event quite unique to Australian sport.”
Australian PM’s XIII Men’s Coach Mal Meninga said the matches would be important ahead of the Rugby League World Cup.
“For those men and women not playing in their respective finals, this will provide players an important opportunity to impress selectors on an international stage,” Mr Meninga said.
Australian PM’s XIII Women’s Coach Brad Donald said the match would give players an opportunity to press for World Cup selection but also experience a unique event which would be significant for the growth of Women’s Rugby League.
“This will be a great opportunity for all of our best and developing female players to show what they can do – the semi finalists as well as those who were unable to make the NRLW finals and development players. To be given an opportunity on a stage like this will be invaluable for all of the players.”
All matches will be broadcast on the Nine Network and Fox Sports. The PM’s XIII matches will be broadcast on GEM – representing the first time the PM’s XIII matches have been broadcast on free-to-air television in Australia.
The first ever PM’s XIII on Australian soil, has been made possible, thanks to the support of the Federal Government, through the PacificAus Sports program. The program will support the PNG’s Prime Ministers XIII teams to play in Australia.