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The 2023 Pacific Championships: Schedule, fixtures, dates, history and odds

Previously called the Oceania Cup, 2023 marks the second edition of the Pacific Rugby League Championship.

Separated into the Pacific Cup and the Pacific Bowl, the competition gives nations in the region the opportunity to pit their wits against each other.

Here’s all you need to know about this year’s competition.

Schedule

Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea host this year’s Pacific Rugby League Championship with matches taking place between 14th October to 5th November.

Samoa, Australia and New Zealand make up the nations in the Pacific Cup, while the Cook Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea will contest the Pacific Bowl.

Tonga were intending to feature in the competition this year but had already arranged a tour of England prior to the announcement of the 2023 Pacific Rugby League Championship.

Five different venues have been selected to host the action, with PNG Football Stadium, North Queensland Stadium, Eden Park, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium and Waikato Stadium all chosen.

The teams will all face either other in a round-robin format, before the top two teams in the Cup and Bowl tables face off in their respective finals.

Fixtures

Pacific Cup

DateTeamTeamVenue
14th OctoberAustraliaSamoaNorth Queensland Stadium, Townsville
21st OctoberNew ZealandSamoaEden Park, Auckland
28th OctoberAustraliaNew ZealandMelbourne Rectangular Stadium
4th NovemberTBCTBCWaikato Stadium, Hamilton

Pacific Bowl

DateTeamTeamVenue
15th OctoberPapua New GuineaCook IslandsPNG Football Stadium, Port Moresby
22nd OctoberFijiCook IslandsPNG Football Stadium, Port Moresby
29th OctoberPapua New GuineaFijiPNG Football Stadium, Port Moresby
5th NovemberTBCTBCPNG Football Stadium, Port Moresby

History

This is just the second year the Pacific Rugby League Championship has been played and the first time under its current name.

The first competition took place in 2019 under the guise of the Oceania Cup which featured six teams in two different groups.

Australia ran out winners of the Cup competition ahead of New Zealand and Tonga, while Fiji were winners of the Shield ahead of Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

After cancelled tournaments, the newly named Pacific Rugby League Championship has returned this year.

Odds

World champions Australia are 1.30 to win the Pacific Cup this year, with rivals New Zealand at 3.60 and Samoa at 26.00.

In the Pacific Bowl, Papua New Guinea are 1.53 favourites to be crowned champions, with Fiji at 2.40 and the Cook Islands at 81.00 to cause an upset and claim the title.

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