Samoa are set to embark on a historic two-Test end-of-year tour of England in the latest move towards a global rugby league calendar on the back of the rise of the Pacific.

Officials on both sides of the globe will announce rugby league’s end-of-season schedule as early as Friday, with the third edition of the Pacific Championships to also go ahead.

But AAP can reveal the most notable fixtures will be those involving Samoa, who will tour England for a bilateral series for the first time in their history.

Samoa are expected to play two Tests against the English in late October and early November, as part of an abbreviated two-week tour of the northern hemisphere.

The tour will come after Tonga’s historic trip there last year, when the Pacific nation pushed England in the first Test before being well beaten in the last two matches.

Samoa stunned England in the semi-finals of the last World Cup in 2022, with Stephen Crichton booting a golden-point field goal to knock out the tournament hosts.

As such, this tour is expected to be billed as a revenge series for England.

Talks had initially begun about a Samoa tour of England last year, but there had been some concerns the matches would no longer go ahead.

Further negotiations have ensured the tour is now locked in, as part of a more detailed end-of-year calendar.

An undermanned Samoa were beaten by Australia and New Zealand in the 2023 Pacific Championships, but it is hoped more of their stars will be fit and available for this tour.

In turn, it will form a key part of the nation’s preparations for the 2026 World Cup under coach Ben Gardiner, who replaced Matt Parish last year.

Samoa’s trip also means they will not feature in the 2024 Pacific Championships, with their spot in the top tier to be taken by Tonga.

With the Kangaroos, Kiwis and Tonga in the Cup division, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Cook Islands are expected to remain in the second-tier bowl.

AAP has also been told that Fiji may host some of the bowl matches in the tournament alongside PNG, after all games in the division were played in Port Moresby last year.

Fiji hosted their first NRL trial match this year between Melbourne and Newcastle, with the Storm also interested in playing a regular-season game in the country in the future.