Samoa is considering a proposal to build on their rivalry with England during last year’s Rugby League World Cup after officials agreed to re-open talks about a series in 2024.

Rugby League Samoa officials agreed to re-engage with their English counterparts about a series in England at the end of next season following a meeting with International Rugby League chair Troy Grant on Monday.

The IRL board last Thursday discussed Samoa’s decision to decline an invitation to travel to the England next year and strongly encouraged the 2022 World Cup finalists to reconsider a proposal for the series.’

Grant met with Toa Samoa team manager Hanan Laban in Brisbane, with Rugby League Samoa Executive President Fiu Faaolatane Ponifasio Vasa also involved in the meeting remotely.

Vasa gave a commitment to re-engage with the Rugby Football League about Samoa touring England in 2024 and it is hoped the likes of Jarome Luai, Stephen Crichton, Brian To’o and Junior Paulo will be keen to play in the series.

After being humbled 60-6 by England in the opening match of the World Cup at Newcastle’s St James Park, Samoa gained revenge when they triumphed 27-26 in a gripping semi-final at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

In doing so, Samoa became the first Tier 2 nation to qualify for a World Cup final and attracted support around the world, including from The Rock, ahead of the decider against the Kangaroos.

Grant, who has also spoken with Samoa coach Ben Gardiner, praised the leadership of Vasa and the new Rugby League Samoa executive board, who were elected in July.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

The IRL board recently announced an international calendar through to 2030, commencing this year with Tonga’s historic tour to England and the inaugural Pacific Championships, featuring New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Cook Islands.

The European Rugby League is working on a Euros competition to coincide with the desired Samoan tour to England, giving the Northern Hemisphere the most international content in recent memory at the end of next season.

England will then travel to Australia for the first Ashes series in 21 years at the end of the 2025 season, with Samoa re-joining the Pacific Championships.

Grant offered Samoa the support needed to ensure the Pacific nation can successfully and viably tour England in 2024 to provide international rugby league fans one of the most highly anticipated series in recent memory.

“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,” he said.

England officials welcomed the news after previously announcing they were exploring all options following Samoa’s decision to turn down an invitation to play a three-match series.

England completed a 3-0 series whitewash of Tonga and with a tour of Australia scheduled for 2025 and the next Rugby League World Cup taking place in 2026, the RFL is determined to maintain the momentum next year.

“We now owe it to Shaun Wane and the players, and to England supporters, to deliver meaningful international rugby league in 2024, and we are working with RL Commercial and the IRL to make that happen,” RFL chair and IRL director Simon Johnson said.

England men and women are scheduled to tour Australia in 2025, while New Zealand and Australia have both agreed to visit England in consecutive years after the 2026 World Cup in the Southern Hemisphere.