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Rugby league: Samoa to re-engage with England over 2024 tour after International Rugby League steps in

Samoa initially turned down England's invitation of a three-match series at the end of 2024 season but the nations are now talking again after International Rugby League steps in; Samoa beat England in semi-finals of 2021 World Cup before losing to Australia in the final

Picture by Will Palmer/ - 12/11/2022 - Rugby League - Rugby League World Cup 2021 - Semi Final - England v Samoa - Emirates Stadium, London, England - George Williams of England looks to offload the ball during a Samoa tackle
Image: Samoa will re-engage talks with England over a tour in 2024 after initially turning down the opportunity

Samoa will re-engage with England over a potential tour in 2024 after governing body International Rugby League stepped in to facilitate fresh talks between the nations.

Samoa initially turned down England's invitation of a three-match series at the end of next season in order to enter the Pacific Shield instead, leaving Shaun Wane's side with no international fixtures in 2024.

However, Samoan officials have now agreed to talk to their English counterparts following a meeting with IRL chair Troy Grant on Monday.

Grant said: "I am excited by the new direction and vision of Rugby League Samoa, their improved capability and plans for the growth of rugby league in Samoa.

Samoa celebrate winning the Rugby League World Cup semi-final against England at the Emirates Stadium
Image: Samoa beat England in the semi-finals of last year's Rugby League World Cup

"It is pleasing that they understand how important Samoa is to the international rugby league family and I was very impressed by their positive approach towards helping to build the game in the Northern Hemisphere.

"Rugby League Samoa will work with the IRL and RFL to understand any hurdles needed to overcome in making the tour a successful reality and continue to build on the wonderful legacy they have recently achieved."

Samoa edged England 27-26 a year ago to become the first Tier 2 nation to reach a World Cup final before they were defeated 30-10 by Australia in the title game.

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England will tour Australia in 2025, with the Kangaroos and New Zealand both agreeing to visit the United Kingdom in consecutive years following the next World Cup in 2026.

Wane's England side swept Tonga 3-0 earlier this autumn.

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