2 May 2015

Sport: Niue welcome South African challenge

12:47 pm on 2 May 2015

Nine players will make their test debut for Niue in tonight's rugby league international against South Africa in Campbelltown, south-west of Sydney.

Niue rugby league team.

Niue rugby league team. Photo: Niue Rugby League

While Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea square off on the Gold Coast, the Rock will contest just their third ever international.

The South African squad arrived in Australia 10 days ago and beat the Philippines in a warm-up fixture, while Niue only got together yesterday for their first training run.

Head coach Brendan Perenara says after beating the same Philippines team last year, he's expecting a tough encounter against the Rhinos.

"South Africa have put us on the table to challenge them before they go into a qualifier World Cup so it's good to get the experience and good for both teams. They're a big bunch of blokes - I saw them play against the Philippines on Sunday. They gave them a good go, they were big and strong all over the park and we're aware of what they can do. They just run all day and hopefully we can match them blow for blow in the middle and we will see how it goes in this wet weather too so we will do our best to stop those big fellas running over us."

Kickoff is at seven o'clock local time at Campbeltown Stadium.