The much-awaited rugby league test between Tonga and Australia has been confirmed.
Mate Ma’a Tonga will take on the Kangaroos at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium on October 20th, almost 11 months after a sold out crowd watched the Kingdom pipped by England at the same venue in the World Cup semi finals.
Tonga coach Kristian Woolf and Australia’s Mal Meninga have both been supportive of the fixture but confirmation was delayed after New Zealand Rugby League officials expressed concerns the test could overshadow or affect ticket sales for the Kiwis vs Kangaroos clash at the same venue a week earlier.
Initial plans to host the match in New York also fell through.
However, following talks with the NRL, an agreement was reached.
It’s understood Australian players have agreed to a one-off pay cut to ensure the match goes ahead.
(Source:Radio New Zealand)