Samoa boss keen on series against England but has big fear for international rugby league

For the first time ever in Rugby League history, a pacific nation made the Rugby League World Cup Final as Matt Parish led Samoa to Old Trafford where they came up short against Australia in the decider.

It has been spurred on by a change of approach which began with Tonga in 2017 when players began representing their heritage more turning Tonga and now Samoa into real threats.

It has been helped by the rules around State of Origin with players being allowed to represent tier two nations like Tonga and Samoa and still play Origin.

This is why Matt Parish expressed that Samoa, with the rules as they are, should not become a tier one nation as it would spell the end of their success as it would leave players choosing between Origin and Samoa.

It is this rule that has ended England star Victor Radley’s Origin hopes.

Thus Parish has expressed fear for the international game is Samoa are promoted to tier one or if the rules are changed as some suggest they will be denying players the chance to play Origin and represent the nation they want.

He said: “Do we want these guys to play Origin? Yes. Do we want them to play for Samoa? Yes we do. If we change the rules we’ll go back to just three teams.”

He is also in the camp of wanting to see more international rugby league and admitted he would be open to a series against England.

On this he said: “It’s definitely one we would look forward to. The more games the better.

“The way we’ve seen these guys inspire so many people around the world.”

That said he did caution against too many games: “We want international rugby to thrive but every now and again these blokes need an off season, it was the 37th game today.”

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