Rugby League news: England set for NZ double

England are expected to kick off their autumn Four Nations campaign against Fiji or Samoa in an Auckland double header in late October.

Talks are currently taking place over the schedule of this year’s tournament in the southern hemisphere, and Steve McNamara’s side is set to play two games in New Zealand.

Under the plans England will face either Fiji or Samoa on the same day that Australia take on the Kiwis, provisionally set for Saturday October 25, as they bid to win their first Four Nations title.

Under the proposals, which are still to be verified by the Rugby League International Federation, England would then travel to Melbourne to take on the World Champion Kangaroos on November 1.

They would complete the group stages with a match against the Kiwis in either Auckland or Wellington the following Saturday.

The Four Nations final would then be staged in Brisbane on the pencilled-in date of November 15.

Fiji and Samoa are set to meet in April for the right to take the final place in the competition.

The winners will then start their Four Nations debut by taking on an England side that is expected to include Sam Tomkins in his new home city, after he recently started his contract with New Zealand Warriors.

Coach McNamara jetted out to Australia on Sunday to take up his new post as assistant at Sydney Roosters.

The England boss will start work under NRL winning coach Trent Robinson when the Roosters return to training this week.

It now looks unlikely that McNamara will have to return to England mid-season for a game against the Exiles or any other opposition.

No plans are currently in place for England to play a match during the summer, although that could still change.