New Zealand coach Michael Maguire believes the side's next clash with Tonga could rival the intensity of a State of Origin clash.
The Kiwis had a 2-3 win-loss record in Maguire's first year on the international scene with their next fixtures pencilled in to feature a potential rematch with the Tongan side for the first time since last year's World Cup clash.
Tonga created history on that occasion to secure their first-ever win against a top-tier nation, sending the Kiwis crashing out of the tournament with their worst-ever finish in the World Cup.
England coach Wayne Bennett highlighted the advantages that Australia has with three games of Origin giving their international players crucial big-game experience, and Maguire sees Tonga as a perfect foil to provide that kind of experience for the Kiwis.
"It's definitely got an opportunity to do that, I'd like to see that," Maguire said.
"It's obviously going to be played on that standalone weekend, so what a weekend of rugby league that's going to be. Culturally, the things you can do around those games, I think it's going to be a spectacle."
Despite their 2-1 series loss to England, Maguire was confident the Kiwis were back on track and primed for a chance at facing Tonga again next year under the proposed new calendar.
"Definitely. To see the spectacle that we've seen, those games are the ones you want to be a part of," Maguire said.
"I'm looking forward to getting that black jersey into the crowd too. For all our fans there, I'm looking forward to that time when it comes.
"That will be a great opportunity for ourselves and for Tonga."
Proposals for the RLIF calendar were unveiled in the UK on Saturday and Maguire backed the decisions that were being made.
The Kiwis are set to compete in the Oceania Cup before end-of-season clashes with Great Britain in the Southern Hemisphere.
"I know they've been very busy in the background bringing games together and working on the actual calendar," Maguire said.
"But I think all three countries and then Tonga being in a strong position, they've been sitting in that top end of international football, are all in a pretty good place at the moment.
"It's quite exciting times for international footy. Moving forward, international footy is very alive."