Date: 2/5/16

This coming weekend is going to be a big one for international rugby league as 6 rugby league nations take to the field.

On Friday night Australia will take on New Zealand in the annual mid-season test. This time the test is will take place in Newcastle just 3 hours north of Sydney.

In the past the Kiwis had always struggled in this test. Last year New Zealand surprised all when they ran away with the test defeating Australia 26 – 10 in Brisbane. With the Kiwis depth growing Australia is going to find these mid-season tests more of a challenge moving forward.

Showing how serious Australia is they have hired the services for Mal Meninga as head coach for the team to take them all the way through to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup which will be hosted by Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea next year. Mal has been instrumental in Queensland’s dominance over New South Wales and Australia hope he will have the same success with the Kangaroos.

On Saturday night we will see the Double Header Pacific tests where PNG take on Fiji and Samoa take on Tonga at Pirtek Stadium. The Pacific Tests have become a regular feature in the rugby league Calendar. The popularity of the Pacific Tests have grown and the games celebrate the diversity and growing influence players with pacific origins have in the NRL.

The Pacific test also allow Pacific based players to play in regular internationals which can only strengthen the international game at the top level.

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Teams for the Pacific and Downer Tests are below.

Australian Kangaroos

1 Darius Boyd (Brisbane Broncos)

2 Semi Radradra (Parramatta Eels)

3 Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

4 Josh Dugan (St George Illawarra Dragons)

5 Blake Ferguson (Sydney Roosters)

6 Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys)

7 Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm)

8 Matt Scott (North Queensland Cowboys)

9 Cameron Smith © (Melbourne Storm)

10 Paul Gallen (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)

11 Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders)

12 Matt Gillett (Brisbane Broncos)

13 Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos)

14 Josh McGuire (Brisbane Broncos) 

15 Michael Morgan (North Queensland Cowboys)

16 James Tamou (North Queensland Cowboys)

17 Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos)

18 Aidan Guerra (Sydney Roosters)

19 Michael Jennings (Parramatta Eels)

New Zealand Kiwis

Adam Blair (Brisbane Broncos)

Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)

Lewis Brown (Manly Sea Eagles)

Greg Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs)

Alex Glenn (Brisbane Broncos)

Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm)

Peta Hiku (Penrith Panthers)

Shaun Johnson (NZ Warriors)

Jordan Kahu (Brisbane Broncos)

Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters)

Manu Ma’u (Parramatta Eels)

Sam Moa (Sydney Roosters)

Jason Nightingale (St George Dragons)

Kodi Nikorima (Brisbane Broncos)

Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm)

Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)

Martin Taupau (Manly Sea Eagles)

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers)

Danny Levi (19th man) (Newcastle Knights)

Papua New Guinea Kumuls

1 David Mead (Gold Coast Titans)                                                    

2 Justin Olam (SP Hunters)                                                   

3 Kato Ottio (Canberra Raiders)                                                       

4 Nene Macdonald (Gold Coast Titans)        

5 Stargroth Amean (SP Hunters)

6 Ase Boas (SP Hunters)     

7 Watson Boas (SP Hunters)            

8 Luke Page (Burleigh Bears)

9 Wartovo Puara Junior (SP Hunters)

10 Henry Noki (SP Hunters)

11 Edward Goma (SP Hunters)

12 Rod Griffin (Wests Tigers)

13 Adam Korave (SP Hunters)

14 Adex Wera (SP Hunters)

15 Brandy Peter (SP Hunters)

16 Willie Minoga (Townsville Blackhawks)

17 Kurt Baptiste (Canberra Raiders)

18 Timothy Lomai (SP Hunters)

Coach: Michael Marum


Fiji Bati

Sisa Waqa (Canberra Raiders)

Tyrone Phillips (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)

Junior Roqica (Cronulla Sharks)

James Storer (Illawarra – Port Kembla)

Fabian Goodall (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)

Brayden Wiliame (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)

Benjamin Nakubuwai (Melbourne Storm)

Maurice Kennedy (Mounties)

Sitiveni Moceidreke (North Sydney Bears)

Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights)

Korbin Sims (Newcastle Knights)

Daniel Saifiti (Newcastle Knights)

Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters)

Eloni Vunakece (Sydney Roosters)

Kevin Naiqama (West Tigers)

Tui Kamikamica

Tuimasi Pio Moceiwaiyevo Seci

Ratu Jowasa Tubailagi Drodrolagi

Etuate Tamanikaitai Qionimacawa

Iliavi Chris Ravu

Coach: Mick Potter

Mate Ma’a Tonga

1 David Fusitu’a (New Zealand Warriors)                                                    

2 Mosese Pangai (Townsville Blackhawks)

3 Solomone Kata (New Zealand Warriors)

4 Vai Toutai (Parramatta Eels)

5 Michael Oldfield (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

6 Feleti Mateo (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)

7 Samisoni Langi (North Sydney Bears)

8 Penni Terepo (Parramatta Eels)

9 Sione Katoa (Penrith Panthers)

10 Felise Kaufusi (Melbourne Storm)

11 Sika Manu (Hull FC)

12 Tony Williams (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)

13 Joe Ofahengaue (Brisbane Broncos)

14 Nafe Seluini (Sunshine Coast Falcons)

15 David Fifita (Cronulla Sharks)

16 Patrick Kaufusi (North Queensland Cowboys)

17 Siosala Vave (Manly Sea Eagles)

18 Mickey Paea (Newcastle Knights)

Coach: Kristian Woolf


Toa Samoa

1 Tim Simona (Wests Tigers)                                    

2 Antonio Winterstein (North Queensland Cowboys)          

3 Kirisome Auva’a (South Sydney Rabbitohs)

4 Ricky Leutele (Cronulla Sharks)

5 Matthew Wright (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)    

6 Fa’amanu Brown (Cronulla Sharks)

7 Pita Godinet (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)

8 Sam Kasiano (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)

9 Kaysa Pritchard (Parramatta Eels)

10 Junior Paulo (Parramatta Eels)

11 Leeson Ah Mau (St George Illawarra Dragons)

12 Frank Pritchard (Hull FC)

13 Sauaso Sue (Wests Tigers)

14 Erin Clark (New Zealand Warriors)

15 John Asiata (North Queensland Cowboys)

16 Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)

17 Sam Tagataese (Cronulla Sharks)

18 Mason Lino (New Zealand Warriors)

Coach: Matt Parish