Kangaroos are reportedly pledging allegiance to Tonga with Maroons and Hurricanes star Felice Kaufusi.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the 30-year-old confirmed Mal Menninga’s Kangaroos exit in a short text message. News Corporation
Kaufisi, fresh from the two-match series win over the Blues, comfortably made the Australian team and had the chance to line up at the back.
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But now he joins a list of big-name players ready to represent the Tongan national team, including Siosifa Talakai, Daniel Tupu and Kotoni Staggs.
After Talakai and Tupou confirmed they would represent Tonga weeks after their loss to NSW in the original series decider, the Stags represented the country in the representative round – a semi-final.
Kafusi played four matches for the Kangaroos, featured in the last World Cup, and also pulled on the Tongan jersey three times.
Blues and Panthers star Brian Too has pledged his allegiance to Samoa, and could follow a host of names including Jarome Luai, Steven Crichton, Jeremiah Nanai and Tino Faasumalewi.
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According to reports, Nanai, Crichton and Faasumalewi will respond to Meninga’s call-up if given the chance.
Meanwhile, Roosters chief executive Victor Radley recently pledged allegiance to England, meaning he can no longer play home under current eligibility rules.
However, players who are nominated to play for Tonga and Samoa are likely to be tier two nations.
According to reports, the ARLC has reviewed whether players who choose to play for Tier One nations should be eligible to play if they were born in NSW or Queensland, with opinion divided and the current rules remaining.
“Wayne Pearce has conducted a 12-month investigation into eligibility rules,” said ARLC Chairman Vlands.
“He talked to everybody. It was a divided opinion. Some were for[the change]and some were against it.”
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“At the moment it remains as it is but like any good business you have to keep monitoring the situation, you have to adapt to the conditions that arise.
“So there won’t be any change now, but it doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future.”
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has previously called for radical changes to the eligibility system.
“I think the eligibility issue needs to be completely addressed. My belief is that they will take all the steps in place. “If you’re born in NSW or Queensland, you’re eligible for Origin, and then if you want to represent your ancestral nation, whether it’s England or New Zealand, you can go and play,” Meninga said.
“If you use Victor as a test plan, he was born in NSW so he can play for the Blues and play for England.”