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The SP PNG Hunters can confirm reports that Head Coach Matthew Church will depart the club and has informed management and players that he will take up a new coaching position with fellow QRL Hostplus Cup club Brisbane Tigers, starting in 2023. 

The news marks the end of a two-year period for Church as Head Coach of the SP PNG Hunters, during which time he oversaw and assisted in the club’s relocation to Runaway Bay, Gold Coast due to the COVID pandemic. 

SP PNG Hunters Chairman Stan Joyce CSM observed that Church was instrumental in the club’s continued participation in the Queensland-based Hostplus Cup competition.

“The SP PNG Hunters have faced unprecedented challenges as an organisation over the last few seasons but under Church’s direction the club and players have always demonstrated great resilience, both on and off the field,” Joyce said. 

SP PNG Hunters CEO Scott Barker echoed Joyce’s sentiments. 

“Church understands what it takes to coach a successful rugby league club and while results have not always gone as desired, the growth and development of our young playing squad under Church’s tutelage has set the SP PNG Hunters up for great success in the future.”

“His leadership has been crucial throughout a challenging three-year relocation period for the club and while it is sad to see him go, we wish Church all the best in his future endeavours.” 

The SP PNG Hunters will advertise for the role of Head Coach for 2023 onwards in the coming weeks. 

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Papua New Guinea's team participating in the Queensland Hostplus Cup

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2022 Hostplus Cup