After a long spell away from the international scene, Pacific rugby league teams are set to return this June in what is planned to be a huge comeback for the international game.
The confirmation comes after an agreement was reached between the International Rugby League, Australian Rugby League Commission and Pacific Island national members of the rugby league community.
The exciting return to play programme will feature a Representative Round in the June Test series followed by an Ampol State of Origin and the Pacific Test double header.
ARLC Chairman, Peter V’landys said, “The Commission has made it very clear that growing international rugby league would be a priority and we are delivering on that promise. Representative Round will provide a return to the excitement and national pride that Test matches produce.”
Indeed rugby league fans and supporters will be happy to know about this latest development and hopefully the proposed event will see a big turn-out come game day.
Fiji National Rugby League Acting CEO, Mr Don Natabe said “We would like to take the time and thank International Rugby League and Australian Rugby League Commission and our Pacific nations for working together to make the fixtures possible. Fans will be delighted to learn about these fixtures and pacific players will get even more excited about being able to represent their country as early as June”.
NZRL have confirmed its participation and planned to face Tonga in one of the games – so expect a huge crowd that day, especially a repeat of the Mate Ma’a Tonga sea of red supporters. The teams last met in 2019 when the Kiwis won 34 – 14.
Fiji Bati Head Coach Joe Rabele also expressed his gratitude about this timely progress saying, “I’m really glad that we are able to assemble the team in over 2 years; this sets the tone for the World Cup and the players are able to rehearse before they actually perform at the biggest rugby league stage in the UK.”
The Vodafone Fiji Bati last played together against the PNG Kumuls in November 2019 at the Oceania Cup in New Zealand.
The Representative Round is scheduled to run from June 24 to June 26. Tickets will range from $10 Adults, $5 Juniors and $25 for families.
The schedule of matches will be;
- Ampol Women’s State of Origin at GIO Stadium on Friday, June 24
- New Zealand v Tonga in Auckland on Saturday, June 25
- Pacific double header featuring Samoa v Cook Islands and PNG v Fiji at Campbeltown Stadium on Saturday, June 25
- Ampol State of Origin ll at Optus Stadium on Sunday, June 26