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Pritchard yearns for treatment

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Samoa skipper Frank Pritchard has urged the NRL to take steps towards elevating the status of mid-year Pacific Tests to rival that of State of Origin in order for the international game to take further strides forward.

This Saturday's clash between Samoa and Tonga is arguably the most anticipated clash of the World Cup pool stages with Tonga's strengthened line-up seeking to supplant Samoa as the leading challenger to the dominance of rugby league's Tier 1 nations.

While a Tonga team inspired by Jason Taumalolo and Michael Jennings brushed past Scotland 50-4 in their opening pool game Samoa wilted in the latter stages against New Zealand to go down 38-8 in Auckland, making their task to avoid a likely quarter-final showdown with the Kangaroos that much more difficult.

After representing New Zealand on 27 occasions that 2014 tournament was the first time Pritchard represented Samoa and he believes that with greater opportunity Tests between Pacific nations can rival the intensity and attention of a State of Origin Series.

"You have to look at the bigger picture. There's only that one-off test in and then if there's no Four Nations at the end of the year then we lose out," Pritchard told of the opportunities afforded Pacific island players in the representative arena.

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