The Kiwis will build up for the end-of-year Four Nations tournament with an historic first meeting with Samoa, the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) said today.

The test will be played at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium on October 16, seven days before the Kiwis' Four Nations opener against England in Wellington.

Chief executive Jim Doyle said the NZRL was committed to building stronger ties with its Pacific neighbours.

Over the past two years, the Kiwis have built up for the World Cup and the Four Nations with tests against Tonga in Auckland and in Rotorua.

Doyle said such matches were valuable to coach Stephen Kearney, who was able to use players with limited or nor involvement in the National Rugby League or Super League playoffs.

Samoa have been playing rugby league Internationals since 1988 - as Western Samoa until 1997 - and have faced the New Zealand Maori on a number of occasions.

Samoan Rugby League chairman Peter Paul was excited both countries would at last meet in a test.

"With such close relationships between the two countries and so many of our players making it in the best league competitions in the world, it is very important that we continue to offer them the chance to shine at an international level," he said.

"We were disappointed to miss out on the Pacific Cup last year and we need tests against the world's best to ensure we are better prepared for such tournaments in the future."

- NZPA