Tongan league star Jason Taumalolo to 'leave the talking on the field'

Matt Gillett in action for the Brisbane Broncos

Matt Gillett in action for the Brisbane Broncos

"If you want to find out about Jason maybe you should ask Jason and the Tongan team", said Nikau.

The likes of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita have turned their backs on New Zealand and Australia respectively, opting to represent Tonga - drawing criticism across both sides of the Tasman.

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The 24-year-old forward was one of a number of Kiwi-eligible players who made a decision to declare their allegiance to Tonga for the tournament, despite posing as the face of the Kiwis' campaign for preview images.

"Obviously I've caused a bit of media stir and all that, but at the end of the day, I'm here to play for my country and I'm looking forward to doing that", Taumalolo told TVNZ. He arrived in Tonga on Thursday.

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"It was a amusing one". "We all got through and got ticketed and everything else, then they decided there was too much weight on the plane a they had to offload a couple of guys".

The Kiwis coach is still upbeat about his side's chances of taking out the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. Their competition begins on October 29 against Scotland in Cairns.

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