A women’s rugby league international will be played as part of the Pacific Test Invitational for the first in June.
The Papua New Guinea Orchids will take on their Fijian counterparts at Leichhardt Oval on 22 June, as part of a triple-header of matches including the Fiji Bati vs Lebanon and Toa Samoa against the PNG Kumuls.
NRL Head of Football, Graham Annesley said he was looking forward to the festival-like atmosphere taking place at one of Sydney’s best boutique stadiums.
“The Pacific Test Invitational is one of the most highly-anticipated and culturally diverse events on the rugby league calendar,” Mr Annesley said.
“To see some of international rugby league’s best male and female Pacific and Lebanese players take to one Sydney’s traditional suburban grounds in Leichhardt Oval is an event not to be missed.”
The Kumuls and Orchids are no stranger to sharing the limelight, with the Papua New Guinea national teams playing double-headers against the the Australian Prime Ministers 13 and World Champion Jillaroos in Port Moresby in each of the past two years.
The modern Pacific Tests concept was launched in 2013, when Mate Ma’a Tonga beat Toa Samoa to lift the Polynesian Cup.
This year the format has been revamped following the introduction of the Oceania Cup.
New Zealand will host Tonga in Auckland in Pool A on the same day as Samoa take on Papua New Guinea in Western Sydney, with the Fiji vs Lebanon and Orchids v Fiji matches serving as curtain raisers to the main event.