WORLD Club Challenge-winning St George Illawarra coach Steve Price is to lead Samoa on a ground-breaking tour of Britain before this year’s Four Nations.
Rugby League Week can reveal the newly-assembled Emerging England squad will take on a Samoan combination featuring the likes of Ali Lauitiiti, Con Mika and Ben Roberts between the Super League grand final on October 8 and the kick-off of the Four Nations three weeks later.
“I held some talks while I was over there in England and we’re looking at playing three games,” Price said. “There’s some exciting things happening for Samoa – we’re looking to have the game played in schools for the first time.”
The Samoans, last year captained by Tony Puletua, are also pencilled in to play Scotland and Ireland with Glasgow and Dublin the favoured venues. Price recently held talks regarding the tour while in the UK with the Dragons. Samoa was last in England for the 2007 World Cup qualifiers.
Meanwhile, the Rugby Football League are set to ease concerns over player burnout but unveiling a Four Nations schedule that avoids making 2011 the longest season for elite players in 10 years.
A November 26 Four Nations final would make the period from the NRL kick-off to the last major international the most arduous since 2001 – but it’s now likely the decider will be held on November 19.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK