Australia will play Tonga in a historic rugby league test match in Auckland in October.
The NRL confirmed on Wednesday the Kangaroos will play Mate Ma’a Tonga in the end-of-season Test on Saturday October 20, a week after their clash with New Zealand.
It will be the first time Australia have played Tonga, who were a force in last year’s World Cup.
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“This is a fantastic result for all fans of Rugby League and the continued growth of the international game,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said.
“Many people have worked tirelessly right around the globe to ensure this match takes place.
“I’d particularly like to thank the NZRL for their efforts to ensure this match eventuated on New Zealand soil, along with the RLPA and the players.
“Tonga are the fourth-ranked team in the world and have fully earned their right to take on the World-Champion Kangaroos.”
Kangaroos Coach Mal Meninga said the match would be an enormous boost for the international game.
“This will be a great occasion and it is something I know the players are excited about,” Meninga said.
“This will be an important game not only for the Kangaroos but for the international game.
“As a game it’s important to capitalise on the success of the World Cup last year, and particularly the success of Tonga and the other Pacific nations.
“Tonga’s performances last year captured the imagination of so many people in the game and I’m sure the game in Tonga will grow even more with games like this taking place.”