The recent visit by the England Knights squad to Paua New Guinea was more than just a sporting tour, it was a true cultural exchange.
The series was tied one game each but the experiences go much deeper than the scoreboard.
England Knights assistant coach Paul Sculthorpe believes this rich experience will stay with the players throughout their careers, saying “What a reception! We want all England players to have life changing experiences and coming to PNG is certainly that. They are wearing the badge with pride and they’re a credit to the sport and the country.”
Coach, Paul Anderson agreed saying “This tour was about exposing a group of our young players to something completely different, out of their comfort zone. The more we do this, the more we can expose our players to these environments, the better our players will be. The last two weeks for me has been two of the best of my career, in regards to enjoyment levels.”
Lineham, the Warrington wing who was a late inclusion in the squad, added: “It’s been an absolute pleasure playing with this group of people, it’s been a really good tour, so it would have been perfect to cap it off with two wins. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case but it’s been a great experience and we’ve made plenty of fantastic memories.
The Tour was accompanied by a delegation from RLWC2021 who took the cup to the community and gave them a chance to get really close to the sport that they love and which is thier national sport.
RLIF Southern Hemisphere general manager, Jeremy Edwards added his thoughts
"Rugby league was born in England and the people of PNG love the sport. It was remarkable to see people of all ages from such diverse backgrounds and experiences sharing the heritage, culture and spirit of rugby league. This is what international rugby league can bring to our sport and I thank the RFL, PNGRFL and RLWC2021 for bringing this all together."