PNG's French Tests increase 2019's International appeal
29 January 2019 - Written by Zack Wilson
Reports in France this week indicate that Papua New Guinea are on their way to Europe this autumn, where they will play two Test Matches against France.
According to French rugby paper Midi Olympique, the FFR is engaged in negotiations to bring the Kumuls to France.
Although not confirmed yet, it looks like the FFR13 wants France to face the Kumuls on October 19 and 26.
If these games are confirmed, it would give the international game in Europe a real boost.
France desperately need more games to improve and begin to be a proper force again that can challenge the likes of England and Australia.
There was a time in the 1950s when France went on tour Down Under and beat the Australians in a couple of Test series.
Those days feel a very long way away now, but recent events have shown that the game in France has plenty of life in it.
Catalans Dragons won the Challenge Cup last year, while Toulouse Olympique pushed hard for promotion to Super League.
There are increasing numbers of French players turning up at professional clubs outside France too, highlighting the increasing depth of the player pool in l’Hexagone.
The Kumuls are a good fit for France too, and should provide some genuinely testing opposition.
Although they are not as formidable outside of PNG as they are at home, they have a squad of hardened professionals now, thanks to the PNG Hunters.
There are also plenty of NRL and Super League players in the Kumuls ranks, so France will have a good challenge on their hands.
Let’s hope that this actually happens and is soon confirmed.
If the Great Britain tour is also confirmed soon we can look forward to some tasty international rugby league in 2019.