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Five Cassowaries selected for Oceania Rugby Women’s Combine


Five women for the national rugby union female team, the Cassowaries, were selected for

the prestigious Oceania Rugby Women’s combine. This will be held in Fiji from August 21-26.

The five players are Joanna Lagona (captain), Fatima Rama, Marie Biyama, Noami Kelly and

Joanne Butler.

Oceania Rugby and PacificAus Sports Partnership have combined to boost womens rugby.

Twenty women from Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga will compete in the Oceania

Rugby Womens Combine in Fiji from August 21-26 with a chance of scoring nine

scholarships to join Australian Super W clubs during the 2024 season. The program involves

girls undergoing a one-week high performance program.

The selection of these players is a record for PNG Rugby Union (PNGRU). According to the

press statement made by PNGRU president Paul Siwi, this was one of the reasons why the

Board sent the team to participate earlier this year PNG rugby union Inc states that it is their duty to support any pathways that lead to opportunities.

This is to enable their athletes to reach their highest aspirations in the sport and the OWRC is a powerful platform that provides such access.

The PNGRU board acknowledged all the players and the management of the 2023

cassowaries’ team for being fearless and rising to the challenge, despite the odds and

criticisms. Furthermore, they acknowledge the support and solidarity of relevant provincial

unions, presidents of the provinces, families, and compatriots.


Photo Credit: Oceania Rugby

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