9 May 2016

Sport: Toa Samoa to host first ever league test in Apia

12:25 pm on 9 May 2016

Samoa will play it's first official rugby league Test on home soil against Fiji later this year,

The Toa beat Tonga 18-6 at the weekend in the Pacific Test to retain the Polynesian Cup while Fiji were upset 24-22 by Papua New Guinea in the Melanesian Cup.

Rugby League International Federation Deputy Chair John Grant said the Test is a fitting way for Samoa to celebrate 30 years of rugby league in the country.

"The Pacific is a region we will continue to support," Mr Grant said.

"Our League Bilong Laif program in PNG and the Pacific Outreach Program in Samoa, Fiji and Tonga have been enormously successful, and are now delivered by 50 full and part time staff across PNG, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga.

Rugby League Samoa Chairman Tagaloa Faafouina Su'a said he was delighted to celebrate 30 years of Rugby League in Samoa by hosting a Test match.

"We have come a long way in 30 years," he said.

"I'd like to thank our patron, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, and his Government, for their ongoing support.

"With the Pacific Outreach Program now embedded in our schools, and now a Test match in Samoa to look forward to, the game will continue to grow."

Samoa too strong for Tonga in the 2016 Pacific Test.

Samoa too strong for Tonga in the 2016 Pacific Test. Photo: Facebook / NRL - National Rugby League

Fiji Bati coach Mick Potter labelled his side's defeat to the PNG Kumuls a terrible result but said he was already looking forward to their next match.

"It's great and we might have most of the players available for that one, given it's not mid-NRL season so that's good news for the Pacific Islands and I think that's a massive step forward for Fiji Rugby League and for Samoa so let's cheer it on and I can't wait to be involved."

Along with supporting the match financially, the NRL will provide referees along with senior staff and management.

Samoa and Fiji last clashed two years ago, with the Toa prevailing 32-16.