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Immediate Future For Samoa and Tonga


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Absolutely desperate for the Samoan and Tongan national teams to have a strong 2022 in order to capitalise on RL’s significant growth in popularity both at home and among expats and descendants.

RU has just announced that players will be allowed to switch nations on the basis of heritage, which will prove an immediate benefit to those two nations for the 2023 RUWC.

So I hope that in RL the powers that be ensure there is a mid season Pacific Test between the two nations, ideally at a sold out Eden Park if border restrictions allow it, followed by a WC camp on their respective home soils to engage with the residents of homeland, before setting off for a very successful WC at the end of the year.

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As the NRL want the mid season international window scrapped, and have not designated a weekend for one in 2022, it seems inevitable that there will be no mid season international for any Southern hemisphere team.

The game doesn't half shoot itself in the foot.

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23 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

So I hope that in RL the powers that be ensure there is a mid season Pacific Test between the two nations, ideally at a sold out Eden Park if border restrictions allow it

How will the "safety concerns" be addressed? You must remember these affect RL uniquely. Players of RU, Cricket, Soccer, and other sports are largely immune.

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2 hours ago, Damien said:

As the NRL want the mid season international window scrapped, and have not designated a weekend for one in 2022, it seems inevitable that there will be no mid season international for any Southern hemisphere team.

The game doesn't half shoot itself in the foot.

I believe I’ve read they’re playing international fixtures during one of the Origin weeks.

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15 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

Unapologetic Sarcast 

"Sarcast"?

I`ve never been sarcastic. I`ve fought against sarcasm all my life. My grandparents fought sarcasm in the 1930s.

2 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

So I hope that in RL the powers that be ensure there is a mid season Pacific Test between the two nations, ideally at a sold out Eden Park 

I agree entirely. Never understood why they didn`t follow up the 2017 WC with an annual Pacific Test in Auckland. There were 20k+ Tongans at Mount Smart v England. There are more Samoans than Tongans living in Auckland. Filling Eden Park would be perfectly possible.

Add a Tonga v Samoa women`s game, and lots of Pasifika performances and cuisine. Would be a fabulous event.

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15 minutes ago, Damien said:

All the Origin matches are mid week next season.

The Perth game is on Sunday 26th June, no NRL fixtures that weekend. As with welshmagpie, sure I read somewhere they are looking at internationals then.

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3 minutes ago, Whippet13 said:

The Perth game is on Sunday 26th June, no NRL fixtures that weekend. As with welshmagpie, sure I read somewhere they are looking at internationals then.

I hope so. Tonga vs Samoa, Fiji Vs NZ and PNG Vs Cook Islands are the fixtures I'd like to see

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21 minutes ago, Whippet13 said:

The Perth game is on Sunday 26th June, no NRL fixtures that weekend. As with welshmagpie, sure I read somewhere they are looking at internationals then.

Quite correct, cheers. I thought it was the 16th for some reason.

No reason not to have internationals then.

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4 hours ago, Scubby said:

I bet they do.

I hope that all countries see this opportunity for what it is. I really hope that Tonga play Samoa. The passion for these matches is pretty much unparalleled and another version will only go on to further bolster the sport’s hold over the pacific.

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18 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

 

RU has just announced that players will be allowed to switch nations on the basis of heritage, which will prove an immediate benefit to those two nations for the 2023 RUWC.

 

Are we not regularly told by some on here International Rugby League is a laughingstock as players switch between Nations? I look forward to International Rugby Union becoming the laughingstock of International Sport.

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9 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I bet they do.

I hope that all countries see this opportunity for what it is. I really hope that Tonga play Samoa. The passion for these matches is pretty much unparalleled and another version will only go on to further bolster the sport’s hold over the pacific.

New Zealand v Tonga in Auckland would be the biggest event and the fixture that should happen if they are restricted to one International IMO. It’d be great to have both Tonga v New Zealand and Tonga v Samoa. Maybe one on the standalone Origin weekend and one as a World Cup warm up game before flying to the UK.

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1 hour ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Are we not regularly told by some on here International Rugby League is a laughingstock as players switch between Nations? I look forward to International Rugby Union becoming the laughingstock of International Sport.

Well they aren't wrong about teams like Italy. But this move will screw over countries like Georgia and Uruguay who don't have access to a huge number of heritage players abroad. Not a problem for RL which has a much smaller international game and it also helps emerging countries like Jamaica.

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2 hours ago, NW10LDN said:

Well they aren't wrong about teams like Italy. But this move will screw over countries like Georgia and Uruguay who don't have access to a huge number of heritage players abroad. Not a problem for RL which has a much smaller international game and it also helps emerging countries like Jamaica.

Which nations that are not involved in RUWC will benefit from this to the point of eliminating Georgia and Uruguay?

4 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

Are we not regularly told by some on here International Rugby League is a laughingstock as players switch between Nations? I look forward to International Rugby Union becoming the laughingstock of International Sport.

I understand your sentiment, but these RU national teams will be slightly bolstered with a few players as opposed to teams predominantly made up of grandchild descendants that cannot speak the language nor ever to have set foot in the country they represent like RL teams representing the likes of Lebanon and Italy.

In any case, I don’t subscribe to bashing the RL heritage rule in its current format.

I actually think the Samoa v Tonga game will be bigger than NZ v Tonga. As a curveball, I think the NZ’ers should invite France for an international, or fly to the UK to play England.

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17 hours ago, Scubby said:

NZ want to play Tonga in NZ on the weekend of June 25/26

 

3 hours ago, Sir Kevin Sinfield said:

New Zealand v Tonga in Auckland would be the biggest event and the fixture that should happen if they are restricted to one International IMO. 

This strikes me as a typical RL "repeat what we did before with diminishing returns" failure of imagination. Tonga v Samoa is potentially the more momentous event by far.

When NZ played Tonga at Mount Smart in 2019, the crowd was a sea of red. Not many there supporting the Kiwis. Rather than take another ride on the back of Tongan popularity, the NZRL would be better served trying to re-engage their public with a game against Fiji or PNG.

Since Toa Samoa last played in Auckland players like Jarome Luai, Brian To`o, Stephen Crichton have emerged as stars in the NRL. Their presence during the build-up to a Pacific Test could be similarly galvanizing to Taumalolo at the 2017 WC.

Not sure to which nation the following names are committed - Tino Fa`asuamaleaui, Payne Haas, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Josh Schuster, Isaiah Papali`i, Jaxson Paulo, Joseph Suaalii.

These are all eligible for Samoa and bigger names than two years ago. They could also generate substantial publicity along with the Panthers stars. And If they played in a successful Pacific Test, and got a great reception in Auckland, it would firm up their allegiance to Samoa. 

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5 minutes ago, Sports Prophet said:

I actually think the Samoa v Tonga game will be bigger than NZ v Tonga. As a curveball, I think the NZ’ers should invite France for an international, or fly to the UK to play England.

I think "see above" is the appropriate phrase here. You just beat me to it.

I agree with your first sentence. Your second really is a "curveball".

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9 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

 

This strikes me as a typical RL "repeat what we did before with diminishing returns" failure of imagination. Tonga v Samoa is potentially the more momentous event by far.

When NZ played Tonga at Mount Smart in 2019, the crowd was a sea of red. Not many there supporting the Kiwis. Rather than take another ride on the back of Tongan popularity, the NZRL would be better served trying to re-engage their public with a game against Fiji or PNG.

Since Toa Samoa last played in Auckland players like Jarome Luai, Brian To`o, Stephen Crichton have emerged as stars in the NRL. Their presence during the build-up to a Pacific Test could be similarly galvanizing to Taumalolo at the 2017 WC.

Not sure to which nation the following names are committed - Tino Fa`asuamaleaui, Payne Haas, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Josh Schuster, Isaiah Papali`i, Jaxson Paulo, Joseph Suaalii.

These are all eligible for Samoa and bigger names than two years ago. They could also generate substantial publicity along with the Panthers stars. And If they played in a successful Pacific Test, and got a great reception in Auckland, it would firm up their allegiance to Samoa. 

NZ v Fiji and Ton v Sam DH will sell out Mount Smart and could even get 30-40k to Eden Park. Who wouldn't want to see that? Both close games too I'd imagine. 

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14 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

I think "see above" is the appropriate phrase here. You just beat me to it.

I agree with your first sentence. Your second really is a "curveball".

Yeah, France would be something different... for both countries. When was the last time they played NZ in NZ? Fiji would be an obvious target. They did beat NZ in their last outing too.

I have a feeling that NZ v England is becoming a very tired/repetitive fixture.

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13 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

Yeah, France would be something different... for both countries. When was the last time they played NZ in NZ? 

Googled (with severe trepidation) New Zealand v France Rugby LEAGUE, and predictably got blitzed with Rugger pap.

I`ve got the 1991 NZRL yearbook. Can`t be bothered finding it to check the details, but it definitely has a picture of a New Zealander biffing a Frenchman during a tour game in Greymouth. So probably that`s the last time - 30 years ago.

The French under-19s did tour in 2019, and came away with some creditable performances. All the French junior teams are usually more competitive than the open-age side.

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1 hour ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Googled (with severe trepidation) New Zealand v France Rugby LEAGUE, and predictably got blitzed with Rugger pap.

I`ve got the 1991 NZRL yearbook. Can`t be bothered finding it to check the details, but it definitely has a picture of a New Zealander biffing a Frenchman during a tour game in Greymouth. So probably that`s the last time - 30 years ago.

The French under-19s did tour in 2019, and came away with some creditable performances. All the French junior teams are usually more competitive than the open-age side.

In 1995 France toured NZ, drawing one of the matches 16-16. They also played a game in NZ in 2001.

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