Internationals 2018 Pacific Test Invitational

2018 Pacific Test Invitational schedule finalised

Date: 16/5/18

A weeklong celebration of Pacific culture has been confirmed for rugby league fans in the lead up to the 2018 Pacific Test Invitational at Campbelltown Stadium, Saturday 23 June.

In what will be the first set of International Matches since the memorable Rugby League World Cup, players and officials from four nations - Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Fiji– will gather in Sydney’s West following the conclusion of Round 15 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

Fiji officially replaced Lebanon after the Cedars formally withdrew from participating late last month.

Campbelltown Athletics Track will host all four squads for the Pacific Test Fan Day on Wednesday 20th of June, with fans encouraged to come along to meet the players, take selfies, get autographs and enjoy cultural performances after school and into the evening.

Senior Manager of Pacific Strategy, Frank Puletua, encouraged fans to purchase their tickets early to avoid missing out following a sold-out event in 2017.

“Last year’s Pacific Test and the Rugby League World Cup showed just how much rugby league means to our Pacific players and the communities they represent,” Mr Puletua said.

“The players get to connect with their culture, their peers and the wider community. I encourage everyone to come along and witness the colour, flair, power and passion that the Pacific Test Invitational produces both on and off the field.

"It is truly something special.”

General public tickets are on sale now, with adult tickets from $15 and family tickets from $45. Club member adult tickets start from as low as $12 and family tickets from $35.

To purchase tickets, head to
Big weekend of Rugby League then :

6pm - Fiji vs PNG
9pm - Samoa vs Tonga

8am - Kiwis vs England
10pm - State of Origin Game 2

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That Pacific Test series needs to come to Auckland at some point, as another way to grow the game and include Niue and Cook Islands. The PI population is way bigger here and the following for a 1 off series would be massive if marketed properly. Just leave NZRL out if the concept to come to Auckland get's off the ground lol They would stuff it up IMO.
That Pacific Test series needs to come to Auckland at some point, as another way to grow the game and include Niue and Cook Islands. The PI population is way bigger here and the following for a 1 off series would be massive if marketed properly. Just leave NZRL out if the concept to come to Auckland get's off the ground lol They would stuff it up IMO.

I was gonna say add the Cooks and Niue, who aren't even getting a chance to qualify for the next world cup which is pretty poor by the RLIF.

And I don't think Tonga And Samoa should play each other in NZ again anytime soon.
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Mate Ma'a: Andrew Fifita (Sharks), Addin Fonua-Blake (Sea Eagles), Siliva Havili (Raiders), Ata Hingano (Raiders), Will Hopoate (Bulldogs), Konrad Hurrell (Titans), Michael Jennings (Eels), Robert Jennings (Rabbitohs), Sione Katoa (Panthers), Tuimoala Lolohea (Wests Tigers), Manu Ma'u (Eels), Joe Ofahengaue (Broncos), Junior Tatola (Rabbitohs), Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys), Siosiua Taukieaho (Roosters), Peni Terepo (Eels), Daniel Tupou (Roosters).

No warriors made the cut as Kata and Fusitua both injured.


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Would love to hear Taumalolo's honest thoughts on Kidwell after he forgot to put him back on.
No surprises what he thinks of Kidwell. Why do you think quarter the Kiwi team now plays for Tonga? NZRL really shot themselves in the foot hiring that buffoon. The flipside is that the Samoan team players hate Matt Parish so they are only too happy to jump ship the other way to the Kiwis. As soon as it gets out about Parish it'll be ugly. Only a matter of time till someone speaks out...


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Samoa players cop criticism over move to Kiwis
10:43 am today
Koro Vaka'uta, RNZ Pacific Journalist

Tonga play Samoa, in a replay of their World Cup group match, on Saturday night Photo: NRL / Shane Wenzlick

Outrage greeted the naming of the New Zealand Kiwis rugby league team after it was revealed three members of Samoa's 2017 World Cup team were included in the squad to meet England in Denver this weekend.

Toa Samoa players hit out at their former teammates, criticising their decision and questioning their manhood.

The public outcry was no less severe with media personalities and talkback-callers alike adamant that the players never be given the opportunity to represent Samoa again.


Leeson Ah Mau, (with the ball), is expected to make his debut for NZ against England Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Okay, disclosure time - none of this actually happened when Samoan world cup players Ken Maumalo, Leeson Ah Mau and Herman Ese'ese were named in the latest Kiwi team.

Strange really, when you consider this exact reaction was expressed passionately by many members of New Zealand's league fraternity when star forward Jason Taumalolo led a group of seven players away from the Kiwis to represent Tonga at the 2017 World Cup.

Former Kiwi pivot Benji Marshall labelled Taumalolo's decision disrespectful despite the fact the Auckland-born Tongan had initially represented Tonga at the 2013 World Cup before collecting 10 caps for New Zealand.

Kiwis captain Adam Blair said Taumalolo had betrayed the New Zealand jersey in a move that was "shattering" because of Blair's pride in the black and white.

Blair also referred to Taumalolo as not being "man enough" to tell the Kiwis of his World Cup plans earlier and was uncertain whether the New Zealanders should ever welcome him back in the future.


Taumalolo helped Tonga upset the Kiwis 28-22 at the 2017 World Cup. Photo: PhotoSport

The 25-year-old Taumalolo conceded he could have handled his decision better but it didn't stop Kiwi fans filling the airwaves and newspaper pages with bitter vitriol.

Lost in all of this was that for years New Zealand had benefited from players swapping allegiances in its favour. Taumalolo himself is a case in point; current Kiwi powerhouse Marty Taupau played a test for Toa Samoa before notching up nearly five years of service for New Zealand; Manu Ma'u and Solomone Kata wore the red of Tonga before donning a Kiwis jersey; and as far back as the 1980s, former New Zealand captain Duanne Mann won his first cap for the Kingdom.

In perhaps an effort to make international rugby league teams more competitive, eligibility rules were recently relaxed to allow players who qualify for more than one country to represent a tier two nation if they are not playing for a tier one team (Australia, England or New Zealand).

This has allowed players to change teams when they feel so inclined, and in this global village of migration and multi-culturalism there are an increasing amount of players who can do just that and should be able to without reprimand.

Samoan league fans seem to understand this, hopefully kiwi league fans do now as well.
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