The kiwis are returning home, with an overproductive clash with Tonga in June.
The New Zealand Rugby League confirmed the game in the middle of the year, after reports first surfaced last month about the plans.
The Kiwis test will take place on Saturday, June 25 at the Mt Smart Stadium, with the Kiwi Ferns facing the Tonga women team that night.
The kiwis have not been seen for more than two years, with their last game against Great Britain at Christchurch on November 9, 2019.
The double header in Auckland will take place eight days before the Warriors’ long-awaited return, with their game against the Tigers on July 3.
In particular, the NRL Club is not thrilled with the script – as it will take some focus away from marketing and promotion efforts – but overall it will be a big boost to the game.
The Kiwis desperately need time to camp together, in view of the Rugby League World Cup later this year.
There is still hope that they can have some sort of preparation game before flying to England, but this will not be easy to arrange, with just over two weeks between the NRL Grand Final (October 2) and the start of the World Cup (October). 15).
It will also be an opportunity to continue a rising rivalry against the Pacific team. The men in red famously upset the Kiwis 28-22 at Hamilton in the 2017 World Cup, before the Kiwis won a 34-14 revenge in June 2019.
The spectacle of the championship in Auckland coincides with Matariki – Maori New Year – and falls on the opening weekend of the official holiday.
There will also be tests in the Pacific in Tasmania that night, with Samoa facing the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea against Fiji at Campbelltown Stadium.
NZRL CEO Greg Peters said they had worked with the NRL “for some time” to get through the two Auckland games.
“What a wonderful feeling to finally have our ferns and kiwis back in the park, and even better at home,” Peters said. “Celebrating Matariki Weekend with an international double-edged sword that unites our fans and communities in celebration is special.”
Kiwi Ferns perform the haka. Photo / Photosport
He added that NZRL aims to set a new world attendance record for a women’s rugby match, which currently stands at 18,000.
The game is also a supplement for Tonga, as they achieved victories over Great Britain and Australia when they last gathered in November 2019.
“This opportunity has been around for a long time, so we look forward to facing the Kiwis again,” said Tonga coach Kristian Woolf. “This will be an important match for us as we try to reunite the team and also give some of our young players a chance to represent their country in the run-up to the World Cup.”
The Kiwi Ferns have not faced Hakula Tonga since the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, where the New Zealand team enjoyed an overall victory. The Ferns’ last fight was a 28-8 victory over Fetu Samoa in 2020, with Hakula Tonga crushing the small country of Niue 66-8 the same year.
Kiwis to play in New Zealand after more than two years
Source link Kiwis to play in New Zealand after more than two years