Former Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill has been appointed to drive Papua New Guinea’s bid for an NRL licence.
Hill, who was in charge of the 2017 World Cup before joining Canterbury, will oversee the establishment and legal framework of the bid process, which is being backed by the PNGRFL, PNG Government and PNG Sports Foundation.
A long serving official who has also previously held senior positions with Parramatta, GWS Giants and the NRL, Hill be lead consultant to the PNG NRL Bid.
His appointment followed a workshop in PNG this week and PNGRFL CEO Stanley Hondina said Hill was likely to take on a greater role as the bid becomes more developed.
“The workshop also served as the official engagement of Mr Hill as the lead consultant at this stage, until the overall structure is being set, and that title may change," Hondina said.
“We congratulate Andrew on his appointment as well as we welcome him to the team, we are confident with having Andrew on board to lead the bid team going forward.
“He’s very well connected and experienced in the rugby leagues space, he’s been in the business for a while."
Hill was responsible for taking three pool games to Port Moresby during the 2017 World Cup and he is currently engaged as the strategic advisor to the PNG Hunters and is also helping the PNG Orchids and PNG Kumuls prepare for the World Cup in England at the end of this season.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the game here in PNG," Hill said.
"I think everyone around the world knows the passion that Papua New Guineans have for the game, we also know how important rugby league is for the country but equally important, the country is very important for rugby league.
“Moving forward through this bid, as we take our time and work through a proper process, we need to ensure that those messages about how important the game can be for young people in this country and the role rugby league can play.
"It’s more than just a game, we can really unite and inspire a generation of young girls and boys to be the best they can at anything.”
Hill spoke at the workshop about the entity and its structures, the board and governance, and the involvement of the PNGRFL, the PNG Sports Foundation and the National Government of Papua New Guinea.
“I’m very honoured to be working with the calibre of people that I met,” Hill said.
“There’s a lot of work, we need to be patient, this is more than just about the game on the field.
"This is going to be quite strategic, we have to ensure that we get proper governance, the model has to be right, and looking at every opportunity that gets presented to PNG.”