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The highly anticipated Hope Cup returns to Mendi this weekend when the Port Moresby Vipers and Mendi Muruks go head to head at Momei Oval.

The match is part of a massive week of Rugby League in the Southern Highlands Province that will also feature the annual Southern Highlands Provincial Nines and a clash between Digicel Cup hopefuls, the Motu-Koita Lagatois and a Koroba-Lake Kopiago side.

The Hope Cup was established by National Capital District Governor, Powes Parkop, and Southern Highlands Governor, William Powi, in late 2019 to help establish peace in the Papua New Guinean Southern Highlands and improve relations between the region and the National Capital.

In the inaugural Hope Cup clash, the Vipers defeated the Mendi Muruks 11 – 10 in extra time in front of a capacity crowd.

NCD Governor and Hope Cup patron, Powes Parkop, confirmed the second annual fixture on the weekend at the NCD Governor’s Cup Final.

“On Friday, the Vipers will travel to Mendi to play the Muruks for the Hope Cup” he said.

“Representing our people from Motu-Koita, (the) Lagatois will also travel to play Nanes, which is a select side from Koroba-Lake Kopiago”

“We are bringing the important and powerful message of unity and friendship to that part of the country (Southern Highlands) through rugby league.”