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Papua New Guinea national rugby union team

The Papua New Guinea national rugby union team, nicknamed the Pukpuks, (Tok Pisin for 'crocodiles'), played its first international in 1966, defeating Vanuatu 47-3. Papua New Guinea have not so far qualified for a Rugby World Cup. They participated in the Oceania World Cup qualifying tournaments for the 2007, 2011 and 2015 World Cups, but did not qualify.

Papua New Guinea
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)The Pukpuks
UnionPapua New Guinea Rugby Football Union
Head coachBilly Rapila
First colours
First international
Papua New Guinea 47–3 New Hebrides
Biggest win
Papua New Guinea 97–3 Vanuatu
Biggest defeat
Papua New Guinea 7 - 115 Samoa


Papua New Guinea made their international rugby debut at the South Pacific Games in 1966. The team won all three matches against New Hebrides, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna to win the gold medal.

As hosts for the following games held at Port Moresby in 1969, Papua New Guinea defeated New Caledonia again and the Solomon Islands but lost to the eventual gold medalist Fiji to finish with the silver medal.

Papua New Guinea entered a qualifying tournament for the 1999 Rugby World Cup in Wales. Papua New Guinea competed in Round 1 of the Oceania qualifying tournament. Although they defeated Tahiti, they lost 22-19 against the Cook Islands. They finished second in the final standings.

They played in qualifying tournaments for the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia, playing in Round 1b of the Oceania tournament. Papua New Guinea defeated both the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to advance through to Round 3. In Round 3 Papua New Guinea faced the Cook Islands to advance to Round 4. In the final round, for repechage qualification, Papua New Guinea were defeated by Tonga.

In attempting to qualify for the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, Papua New Guinea started out in Round 1a of the tournament. Papua New Guinea defeated the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to finish at the top of the standings to move through to Round 2. In Round 2 the Cook Islands went through to Round 4.

The Pukpuks won the inaugural Federation of Oceania Rugby Union (FORU) Cup (2007), defeating Niue in the final by a score of 46-19. In the 2009 Oceania Nations Cup, Papua New Guinea managed to beat Vanuatu 86-12 in the semifinals and in the final, beat Cook Islands 29-12. They then went on to play Samoa in the Oceania Qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup where they got beaten 115-7 away and 73-12 at home. They were unable to qualify for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Papua New Guinea hosted the 2011 edition of the FORU Oceania Cup, winning the tournament by defeating Vanuatu (78-3),[1] Solomon Islands (33-15)[2] and Niue (36-7) [3]

World Cup recordEdit

World Cup record
Year Round P W D L F A
   1987 No qualifying tournament held
    1991 Did not enter
  1999 Did not qualify
  2019 Withdrew
Total 0/8 - - - - - -


Squad to FORU Oceania Cup (3 December 2011):

  • Shane Amean
  • Kapua Kapua
  • Shane Koal
  • Aaron Miai
  • Philip Suapo
  • Leme Tole
  • Raymond Vagi (c)
  • Billy Torea
  • Douglas Guise
  • Wesley Rooney
  • Emmanuel Guise
  • Emmanuel Auru
  • Tisa Kautu
  • Andrew Samson
  • Christopher Kakah
  • Chauka Posolok
  • Wesley Thomas
  • Gabriel Biyama
  • George Oki
  • Kumalau Auru
  • Frank Gabi
  • Jonah Kautu
  • Dazy laka

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit