David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

Kiwis to play transtasman test in Perth

Kiwis five-eighth Kieran Foran in action during the 2015 Anzac test  against the Kangaroos at Suncorp Stadium. Photo/Getty.
Kiwis five-eighth Kieran Foran in action during the 2015 Anzac test against the Kangaroos at Suncorp Stadium. Photo/Getty.

The Kiwis will take on the Kangaroos in an historic test match in Perth on October 15 but issues around travel, the four-hour time difference and kick-off time, could have a major impact on New Zealand's hopes of success.

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney and New Zealand forward Martin Taupau were joined by Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, to make the announcement at Perth's nib Stadium today.

The test will be staged prior to the 2016 Four Nations tournament in England and Scotland and will be an important lead-in match for both teams, but the kick-off time is still to be confirmed.

The Kiwis are well aware how the combined toll of the time difference - on top of the 5300km journey from Auckland to Perth, and late kick-off times - have repeatedly worked against the Warriors, who are yet to register a win in seven visits to Western Australia.

Three of those recent matches started at 7.30pm local time, which is 12.30am here in New Zealand.

The Warriors were given a reprieve last year, when their clash with the Rabbitohs kicked off at 3.30pm local time, making for a 7.30pm prime time viewing slot in New Zealand. It mattered little as the Warriors again suffered a heavy 36-4 defeat.

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney was confident his side will have no trouble adjusting to the time difference, as they will spend the week leading into the test promoting the match in Perth, but said he would liaise with interim New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Alex Hayton about ensuring their travel plans are tailored to their needs.

"It doesn't bother us, we're going to be here for a week," Kearney said.

"I'll talk with Alex Hayton and we'll certainly take that into consideration, in terms of the travel.

"If we can't get over a plane trip from Auckland to Perth then we're doing something wrong."

Kearney regrets that broadcasting arrangements between the Australian Rugby League Commission and Channel Nine have prevented New Zealand from hosting a transtasman clash since 2012.

That won't change until the current broadcast deal finishes at the end of 2017, and in the meantime, he says it's important to help grow the game in Perth.

"That's the one thing we lack, being able to play in a Kiwi jumper in front of our people on our home grounds and that's important for our team," he said.

"It will be an integral part of our (Four Nations) preparation and the fact that we get an opportunity to grow the game here in Perth is important too.

"Ideally we would like to be playing at home, but the supporter base that we have here in Perth, having watched the Premiership games they've played here, particularly the Warriors, they've always been very well supported. That's a real bonus."

The test match will follow two NRL fixtures to be held in Perth this year, with the Warriors again making the journey to take on Manly on July 16, and the Rabbitohs facing the Gold Coast Titans on June 5.

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