22 Dec 2014

Sport: Boost for Pacific rugby league calendar

8:36 am on 22 December 2014

The annual Pacific rugby league Test will be expanded from one to two matches from next year.

A Melanesian and Polynesian Cup double-header between Fiji and Papua New Guinea and Samoa and Tonga has been pencilled in for the first weekend of May on the Gold Coast, following the ANZAC Test, with the winning teams to clash at the end of the year.

It adds to a busy 2015 calendar for the region, with an international nines tournament also taking place during the Pacific Games in July.

The Pacific Test was launched in 2013 when Tonga upset Samoa in Penrith, while earlier this year Samoa beat Fiji to earn qualification for the Four Nations.

The expanded fixture list has been agreed for at least three years, in line with the NRL TV rights deal.