These matches will cap off a successful year for the Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League.
On Wednesday this week, the PNGRFL announced its All Star teams that will play the curtain-raiser to the PMs XIII match.
The Confederate All Stars comprised players from the recently completed national zone championships in Lae.
The Digicel Cup All Stars had players from the semi-professional competition which was won by the Hela Wigmen.
The renaming of the zone team as the ‘confederates’ signals a fresh start for the concept.
PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka, in a statement during the week, said the focus was now on bringing in new talent and developing players for the 2017 World Cup and beyond.
The Confederate All Stars is the natural avenue for that goal to be realised, while the Digicel Cup All Stars is where those players who miss out on PM’s XIII and Kumul selection should be.
That seems to be the logical way to proceed. But there will likely be a good number of very good players who will miss out. There were only four players with Kumuls experience named in the Digicel Cup side.
One wonders whether selectors will be able to fit all our best talent into the PMs XIII which is the only other available representative team.
The Hunters players are sure to get first preference for PMs XIII slots followed by whichever overseas players are available.
After that any other player who does not make this side will miss out entirely.
That is a shame because there are some very good players who have been overlooked.
One of the keys to success is to pick the best available talent. Some of our best local talent has been ignored.