Jamie George and Maro Itoje lead calls for England to tour Samoa ahead of Rugby World Cup clash

Jamie George and Maro Itoje lead calls for England to tour Samoa ahead of Rugby World Cup clash

Jamie George hopes England can make history and tour Samoa for the first time amid continued reworking of rugby’s global calendar.

England will face the Paficic Islanders in Lille on Saturday in their final Pool D clash at the Rugby World Cup.

The England team have never travelled to Samoa for a Test however, but that could all change if global calendar negotiations fall the right way.

A new Nations League competition for June, July and November could see northern hemisphere Test teams tour the south in the summer.

That would lead to the likes of England taking on three different opponents in successive weeks, replacing the current classic three-match summer Test series.

The theory goes that England could take on New Zealand, Australia and, say, Samoa or Fiji back-to-back. And Saracens hooker George sees no reason why Samoa, Fiji or Tonga could not stage a match themselves.

“World Cups highlight the incredible work the tier-two nations are doing and their standard,” said George.

“If you look at some of the performances from the lower seeded sides, if you get the opportunity to go over there, then why not?

“If you can pair it up with a tour to New Zealand or Australia or wherever it might be, it would be great to grow the game out there.

“We know how passionate they are about their rugby over there. If the calendar works then absolutely, why not?”

England have already topped Pool D with a game to spare, but Steve Borthwick’s men are refusing to allow eyes to wander to their quarter-final.

The Red Rose men know full well the physical onslaught that awaits in Lille on Saturday, and will likely field a full-strength line-up for the clash.

Samoa could still technically join England in the last-eight, leaving Borthwick’s men wary of the blue tide awaiting at Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Maro Itoje has echoed George’s support for more top teams to make Pacific Islands trips, revealing his hope for the gap between tier one and tier two nations to be closed in time. The Saracens lock stated that World Rugby and other authorities must continue to look at more fixtures for tier two nations against the toughest opponents between World Cups.

“This is a global challenge, that these nations that we don’t necessarily play that often, like Samoa, the challenge is how often top teams can play them between World Cups,” said Itoje.

“During World Cups the so-called lesser nations are generally consistent and brilliant, especially given what they have and what they do.

“You see their levels of play go up, so it’s a challenge for World Rugby to make sure they have the support to be able to do that on a consistent basis, through the years between World Cups.

“I think we’re starting to see the lines blur between tier one and tier two, which I think is brilliant. I would love for us to have a conversation where there’s no such thing as tier two, or where tier two starts from countries ranked 20 and under.

“I think that would be a brilliant evolution of the game. And it would be great to play in the likes of Samoa if we can. Why not? If that’s possible, that would be amazing.”