By Mabel Muller - email@example.com
The captain of Papua New Guinea's national rugby league team says the sport could be the one thing that unites his nation, one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.
The Papua New Guinea Kumuls caused a major upset to Fiji Bati on the weekend at the annual Pacific Test in Sydney, defeating the Fijians 26 to 14.
The Melanesian country has a population of over eight million people and 852 known languages.
Kumuls captain James Segeyaro says rugby league has the ability to unite Papua New Guineans across the region.
"Anyone who's been to PNG knows how much we love rugby league."
"We've got 800 different languages and dialects but they all love rugby league so the more we win, it brings the country together."
PNG Kumuls captain James Segeyaro. Photo/ PMN.
Coach Michael Marum says the sport also gives locals a break from social issues.
"They're going through tough times at the moment. There are a few issues with fighting up there in rural areas... it's a good time for them to forget about the fighting and enjoy the football."
Rugby league is regarded as Papua New Guinea's national sport.
The Kumuls now have three consecutive Pacific Test wins, having beaten Fiji twice and the Cook Islands once.