Samoa coach Ben Gardiner believes the NRL ought to take into account reinstating the mid yr Test weekend to offer the likes of Tonga, Samoa and Fiji to achieve extra worldwide expertise.
The mid yr Tests had been scrapped in 2023 in favour of the inaugural Pacific Championships, however Gardiner says he’d prefer to once more see Samoa given an opportunity to play mid-season.
“For us, we need test matches,” Gardiner mentioned in his put up match press convention after Samoa’s 50-0 loss to New Zealand in Auckland.
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“Whatever the NRL decides to do, they decide to do as I don’t make those decisions but from our point of view we want to play Test matches.
“We’ve had an opportunity for a number of our guys to play two Test matches now, well we need more of those so we can build up that experience so when we go up against a side like Australia or New Zealand who have guys with 15-20 Test matches under their belt, that’s how we start to compete with those teams.”
As it stands, Samoa gained’t play their subsequent Test match for one more 12 months. When requested if it felt loopy that it’s so lengthy between Tests, Gardiner responded with amusing, “For sure”.
“Everybody has a laugh about it but that’s the reality of it… New Zealand and Australia have dealt with the same thing so it’s no different for anyone, it’s just a matter of being able to come together, build on experience and come better next time and that’s what we plan to do.”
With the 2025 Rugby League World Cup pushed again a yr and nonetheless up for grabs after France pulled out of internet hosting, there may be more likely to be a bid from a gaggle of Pacific Island nations, together with Samoa, to carry the occasion.
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Gardiner mentioned if that was the case, “it would mean everything to the Samoan people.”
“You saw the support we got here in Auckland, imagine taking that game to Samoa and the support we’d get there.
“We’ve had a lot of support all week from different people in different places all over the world
“There’s a big following for the Toa Samoa team so to be able to take a game to home, well yeah, it could be anything couldn’t it.”
Every week after handing in a gutsy efficiency in a 38-12 loss to Australia, Samoa had been completely outplayed by the Kiwis.
Gardiner, who additionally works as an assistant coach underneath Ivan Cleary at Penrith, mentioned there have been some positives to take out of the final two weeks, however finally, they had been merely outplayed.
“It took nothing out of the team any more than any other football game. We travelled over here with good intent, we trained well,” he mentioned.
“We started well, but tonight we just couldn’t go with the other team.”