New NRL TV deal locks in Pacific Tests

Test matches between Pacific nations are now locked into the NRL schedule, after the terms of the Australian domestic competition’s new TV deal have been revealed.

The deal, potentially worth 925 million Australian dollars, is with Channel 9, and means that fans in Australia can now watch four free to air NRL matches a week.

For fans of international rugby league, however, the most exciting parts of the deal are these two points, quoted on NRL.com:

“International Rugby League will be given a new priority and will be played in a dedicated window after the NRL Premiership season.

“A new State of Origin schedule with the second match in each series being played on a Sunday night as part of a stand alone weekend of representative football which will also feature Pacific Nation Tests.”

This means that fans of Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Fiji are guaranteed Test match action until at least 2022.

With Origin taking up at least one stand-alone weekend, New Zealand could also be freed up as potential Test opponents for England.

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