Maroons face Wigmen

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REIGNING Digicel PNG Cup champions Hela Wigmen. Picture: SUPPLIED

Reigning Digicel PNG Cup champions Hela Wigmen will face Vanua State of Origin champions Western Maroons in the Melanesian Cup fixture next Saturday.

The Melanesian Cup returns after a two-year hiatus.

The Fiji National Rugby League premiers, the Maroons, will host the Papua New Guinea champions at Churchill Park in Lautoka.

The Wigmen, who beat the Agmark Rabaul Gurias 8-6 in last year’s final at the Santos National Football Stadium in Port Moresby, will be without boom forward Samuel Yegip and Valentine Culligan, as well as winger Siki Koden but still boast a solid championship quality line up.

Wigmen club executive Andy Hetra confirmed the side would be announced this week.

“We are playing in Fiji next weekend. We travel on Tuesday (March 21),” he said.

“We have been preparing and we are ready. We will do an official launch of our season with the media conference as well.”

The Hela Wigmen will look to continue the dominance of PNG teams over Fiji’s top sides with the SP PNG Hunters recently scoring a 26-12 win over the Kaiviti Silktails to claim the Melanesian Bowl in Sigatoka two weeks ago.

Meanwhile , the Silktails are scheduled to face the North Coast Bulldogs in the second round of the NSW Ron Masey Cup which will be the curtain raiser for the Wigmen-Maroons match.

FNRL acting chief executive officer Don Natabe said “the traditional rivals meeting between Fiji and PNG continued to strengthen bilateral ties and promote the sport across the region”.

Tickets to the match are $10 for adults and $2 for children under-12.

The Silktails take on the North Coast Bulldogs at 12 midday before the Melanesian Cup fixture starts at 3pm.

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