After an absence of international rugby league for more than two years, the Kiwis and Kiwi Ferns will play a double header against Tonga in Auckland in June.
The tests will be played at Mt Smart stadium on June 25th.
It’s 14 years since Kiwi Ferns played Hakula Tonga, where they chalked up a 40 point win at the 2008 World Cup.
Organisers hope the women’s test will achieve a world record crowd attendance for a women’s rugby league gam, which currently sits at 18,000.
Kiwis player Nelson Asofa-Solomona in action during rugby league Test match between Kiwis and Tonga, held at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. 22 June 2019 Photo: Brett Phibbs / www.photosport.nzKiwis player Nelson Asofa-Solomona is brought down during the 2019 test against Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019
Pre-pandemic, the world number one ranked Kiwis had a series win against Great Britain and a 34-14 win against Tonga rivals in 2019.
Despite their loss to the Kiwis, Tonga achieved a historic 16-12 upset over the Kangaroos in the same year.
“We have been working with the NRL for some time now to produce an international weekend on both sides of the Tasman during the Origin window,” said NZRL chief executive Greg Peters.
June 25 will also see Samoa play Cook Islands and PNG face Fiji in Campbelltown before the State of Origin between New South Wales and Queensland the following day.
Tonga Head Coach Kristian Woolf said the game was important for Tonga “as we look to reunite the team and also give some of our young players a chance to represent their country ahead of (October’s) World Cup.”