Papua New Guinea national rugby union team
|Union||Papua New Guinea Rugby Football Union|
|Papua New Guinea 47 - 3 New Hebrides
|Papua New Guinea 97 - 3 Vanuatu
|Papua New Guinea 7 - 115 Samoa
The Papua New Guinea national rugby union team represent Papua New Guinea in the sport of rugby union. Nicknamed the Pukpuks, (Tok Pisin for 'crocodiles'), they played their 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 and 2011 world cups, but did not qualify.
Papua New Guinea have been playing international rugby union since the 1960s, having made their debut in 1966 against New Hebrides. Papua New Guinea would win their debut match, defeating New Hebrides 47 points to three. Fixtures were also held against New Caledonia and Wallis & Futuna that year. A number of games were played in 1969 as well. Papua New Guinea played nations such as Fiji, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia, though they defeated the latter two opponents, Papua New Guinea lost to Fiji.
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.
World Cup record
- 1987 - No qualifying tournament held
- 1991 - 1995 - Did not enter
- 1999 - 2011 - Did not qualify
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