Well it’s finally locked in (We think)! The 2014 Pacific international will go ahead as planned with the winner booking a place in the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations.
The dates for the match are still to be confirmed. This year’s tournament took place in April at the home of Penrith Panther’s, Centrebet Stadium. The match between Samoa and Tonga had all the passion you would expect when the Pacific nations take on each other. Over 10,000 fans were on hand to witness Tonga run out 36 – 4 winners. The game was a great success and the match itself was shown live on Fox Sports.
The 2014 version will have something more than bragging rights for Fiji and Samoa if they manage to win. They will not only get to take on the likes of Australia, England and New Zealand but will also bring much needed exposure to the plight of rugby league as it continues to grow throughout the Pacific nations.
Last year’s tournament had the under 18’s Origin between NSW and QLD take place prior to the Tonga vs Samoa match. The Rugby League International Federation are always under pressure to provide more fixtures for the Pacific Nations. Well this looks like a great opportunity to me.
Why not have a 2014 Pacific International Double Header or Even a re-jinked Pacific Cup?
Bring in Tonga and invite another team from the Pacific to play in the lead-up to the Fiji v Samoa match. Why not send the invitation out to the Cook Islands. The Cooks are usually starved of internationals so anything the RLIF can to do help them build a solid squad over the next few years will do wonders for the tiny bunch of Islands who participated in this year’s World Cup.
The concept itself can really develop into the Pacific Islands own version of State of Origin. It also really does turn the weekend into an international windows as the Kangaroos will also be taking on New Zealand in their annual April clash.
It is a prime opportunity to get the likes of Fox Sports and 7 Mate back on board and set it up as an international rugby league festival.
With Papua New Guinea entering a team in the Queensland Cup in 2014 why not even have PNG play a fixture up in Queensland? Who should they play? Well much was made of the USA and their efforts during the World Cup. So why not invite the Yanks over for the festivities?
The 2013 Rugby League World Cup has been a huge boost for the game of Rugby League. Why not keep that momentum going.