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Two Toa tests set

The 2020 Oceania Cup was announced by the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation on Wednesday, with Toa Samoa to play test matches in June and October.

Samoa will contest the Oceania Shield in Pool B, along with the Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea Kumuls.

They will meet the Cook Islands in June, during the mid-season representative window which includes Oceania Cup and State of Origin matches.

Toa Samoa’s final Oceania Cup match will be against Papua New Guinea in October after Australia’s National Rugby League season.

Exact dates and locations for the fixtures are yet to be confirmed.

With the Australian Kangaroos touring England at the end of the year, Pool A of the Oceania Cup will be contested by the New Zealand Kiwis, Tonga Invitiational XIII and Fiji Bati.

The Bati earned their place in that top-tier competition by winning the 2019 Oceania Cup Shield over Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

In a press release, Asia Pacific Rugby League chair Sandis Tsaka said the tournament will be a fantastic one that captures the imagination of fans across the Pacific.

“It is particularly satisfying to be able to give the Pacific nations competitive matches after their key role in the revitalisation of International Rugby League in recent years.”

Southern Hemisphere International Rugby League general manager Jeremy Edwards said the Oceania Cup is a vital aspect of growing the game in a critically important region.

“With that in mind we will be looking to expand the tournament in the future to include a Women’s Oceania Cup and matches for both emerging nations and youth teams.”

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