The New Zealand Rugby League are pleased to announce the New Zealand Resident 18s will face-off against the Toa U18s Selection on Saturday 6 October at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

This game will be the prequel to the Men’s National Premiership promotion/relegation game and Grand-Final in what will be a blockbuster triple-header.

David McMeeken, NZRL Talent Manager says the fixture will highlight some of the best 18s age-group talent in our own backyard.

“The occasion provides a great opportunity for these aspiring Kiwis to represent not only themselves and their families, but also their country.

“In successive years New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) has provided fixtures for both the 16s and 18s age groups, providing a viable and meaningful pathway for our very best players at these age groups and beyond, whilst also adding some prestige for those that want to represent New Zealand,” he said.

While New Zealand Rugby League CEO, Greg Peters has spent only several weeks in the role, he is proud that the NZRL is consistently looking for new fixture opportunities with teams around the world including the Pacific Nations.

“We are excited to be able to provide competitive fixtures against Pacific Island teams and to grow our relationship with those countries.

“Players at 18s level are always eager to pull on the New Zealand jersey for the first time and this fixture will present an opportunity for these youngsters to put their best foot forward on the international stage,” he said.

As for Samoa, Rugby League Samoa President, Tagaloa Fa’afouina Sua said: “As proud Samoans we are always looking to challenge ourselves on the world stage and this 18s International fixture gives our young Toa Warriors a chance to challenge the best New Zealand has to offer.”

“We are grateful that the NZRL continues to support Rugby League Samoa and other Pacific nations and we all look forward to a great day showcasing our best young talent and future stars,” he added.

New Zealand Resident 18s v New Zealand Samoa 18s

Saturday, 6 October

Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

New Zealand 18s appointments below:

Head Coach: Tusa Lafaele
Assistant Coaches: Cody Walker
  Daniel McEwan
Manager: Tania Harris
Lead Trainer: Jasen McCarthy
Assistant Trainer: Lee Paru
Physio: Alan Horn