ANY St Helens players selected to represent England in the mid-season Test against Samoa in Australia will feature in a triple header involving Pacific nations.
Upto three as yet unnamed Saints players are set to figure in a clash head coach Wayne Bennett is using to help prepare for a shot at the World Cup at the end of the domestic campaign.
For the first time, the 2017 edition of the Pacific Test will see England’s clash against Samoa headline an international rugby league feast at Campbelltown Sports Stadium in Leumeah, New South Wales, on Saturday, May 6 (7.30pm local time).
In an action-packed Saturday at one of the three home grounds called on by Wests Tigers, Papua New Guinea take on the Cook Islands, before traditional rivals Fiji and Tonga battle it out in the penultimate match of the day.
England’s last encounter with Samoa was the opening game of the 2014 Four Nations in front of 47,813 spectators at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The Wall of White won 32-26 that day but Bennett is expecting another physical game in Campbelltown.
“This will be a tough test for us with much of the playing group coming from the UK, but we’ll prepare the best we can,” said Bennett.
“The Samoans are always a physical side, but we’ve got a solid group of players to choose from and I’m looking forward to getting everyone together for the match ahead of the World Cup later this year.”
Pacific Test triple-header 2017 schedule:
Cook Islands v Papua New Guinea (3.30pm AEST)
Tonga v Fiji (5.30pm AEST)
Samoa v England (7.30pm AEST)