Pacific Test

A series of mid-season internationals involving teams from a host of different countries have been played in Australia, rather than in those home nations, and according to a survey by Rugby League Planet, most fans are okay with that.

In late June, Papua New Guinea played Fiji and Samoa took on the Cook Islands. Those matches featured in a doubleheader in Campbelltown.

Those games were preceded a few days earlier by a fixture between Lebanon and Malta at the Belmore Sports Ground in Sydney.

In early June, South Africa faced off against Brazil in Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The Australian-based internationals started in March of this year when Chile played the Philippines in suburban Sydney.

In many cases, expatriate players living in Queensland and New South Wales made up the rosters, particularly for the smaller countries, although some players did fly in from their respective countries of origin, while the South Pacific Island nation squads were largely made up of NRL and Australian second tier competition players.

The question we posed was do you think playing these games in Australia is a smart thing to do? These were the responses:

Yes 61.5%

No, play them at home 25%

Undecided 13.5%

Brian is a strong and effective communicator with more than 30 years’ experience in broadcast and electronic media. He has been writing for Rugby League Planet since 2012 and is frequently the first reporter to break news stories about the sport. He has been our North American correspondent reporting on news in the US, Canada and Jamaica covering everything from league standings to strategy analysis to breaking news on key trades to editorials and colourful features on athletes. He is now writing about rugby league on a broader scale to cover developments around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Brian started his career in Australian radio, before moving to the United States. He is an experienced podcast host and producer and is also a successful TV commentator having done play-by-play and analysis for ESPN, FOX Sports and the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) among others. Brian has his own YouTube channel @brianlowe5567 where he posts his interviews for Rugby League Planet. Be sure to check it out and subscribe.