Pacific Test

Panthers coach among new faces in Samoa set-up

Samoa, who face Cook Islands in the Pacific Test double-header at Campbelltown on June 25 ahead of the World Cup opener against England at St James Park on October 15, will again be led by Parish, with Webster and Agar joining Geoff Toovey on his coaching staff.

Pritchard, who played eight Tests for Samoa and 256 NRL matches for Penrith, Canterbury and Parramatta, has also joined the staff.

Lafai urges Samoa to lock in Pereira before Kiwis swoop

Pereira, who was born in New Zealand but also qualifies for Samoa through his father and England through his mother, has yet to decide which country to align himself with but Lafai urged Samoa to make the first call on him.

“It’s nice to have a fellow Samoan on my wing,” Lafai said.

“I think he is definitely a frontrunner for that wing position and if he keeps up his form I think he should get that spot.

Fiji unveil Pacific Test squad to face PNG

Hayne is just one of a number of NRL players included, with the likes of Suliasi Vunivalu, Akuila Uate, Kane Evans, Marcelo Montoya and Jayson Bukuya also named.

Wests Tigers speeder Kevin Naiqama will again captain the side from fullback, while Hayne will line-up in the halves.

While the backline has plenty of firepower, injuries to Viliame Kikau, Korbin Sims, Daniel Saifiti and Api Koroisau will mean the forward pack’s depth will be tested.

Fiji Bati squad to face Papua New Guinea:

Samoa stung by poor execution

The final match of the Pacific Test triple-header was, on paper, the hardest game to predict, but England's precision proved too much for a Samoan side that had its moments, but ultimately couldn't match it for 80 minutes with their northern rivals.

Tonga to unleash Hopoate, Jennings and Fifita

The Bulldogs have been subjected to heavy criticism for announcing their players would not be available for the May 7 City-Country match at Mudgee but that is due to scheduling as they play North Queensland just four days later.

If NSW coach Laurie Daley had advised that he wanted any specific Canterbury players to play City-Country with a view to assessing them for State of Origin selection, the Bulldogs would have allowed them to do so.

Eight NRL stars in Bennett's England squad

Cronulla Sharks veteran Chris Heighington will make his return to the squad after last being selected for England in 2011, while Zak Hardaker has also been recalled and Chris McQueen, Mike McMeeken and Alex Walmsley have been handed debuts. Gold Coast Titan McQueen qualifies for England selection through his English father.

Fiji Bati comeback secures win over Toa Samoa in Pacific Test

Coming back from the breather, Fiji began pounding at the Samoan front line, leading to their first three tries, before the halftime hooter.

The score remained 16 to 18 until the final 10 minutes when a crucial error at the Fijian goal line, led to Apisai Koroisau sprinting the length of the field for the apparent winning try.

Six debutants in Toa Samoa team to take on Fiji

“We’ve got mostly pretty young guys here playing this week with about six of them putting this blue jersey on this week for Toa for the first time. The focus is on putting development players out there for experience looking at the future of the sport here in Samoa,” Parish said.

He says his team to take on Fiji may be lacking in size but result will depend mostly on the performance of the players.

“Well we just have to play well and if the boys put on a good performance we can seal the win this week,” he said.

Player availability in focus as Pacific Test looms

RNZI reports the Mate Ma'a were edged 18-16 in last year's match against the Toa and beat Cook Islands in October to secure their spot at next year's World Cup.