Jason Taumalolo, Andrew Fifita headline strong Mate Ma'a Tonga squad for Kangaroos Test

Mate Ma’a Tonga’s head coach Kristian Woolf has named a strong 29-man squad to take on the Kangaroos in a historic Test match in Auckland next month.

NRL powerhouses Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita headline a squad full of talent and stars.

The New Zealand Warriors have four players in the squad - wing David Fusitu’a, centre Solomone Kata and forwards Agnatius Paasi and Leviaha Pulu.

"We are very pleased with the depth in the squad we have managed to name for this very important Test match," said Woolf.

"We feel it is representative of the depth of Tongan rugby league in both the NRL and English Super League and also rewards players that have made firm commitments to playing for their country of heritage.

"This will be a huge occasion for Tonga to take on the top-ranked rugby league country in the world, so we need every player we can committed to the goal."

The Test will be played at Mount Smart Stadium on October 20.

Mate Ma'a Tonga squad:

Andrew Fifita (Cronulla Sharks), Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly Sea Eagles), Mahe Fonua (Wests Tigers), Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans), David Fusitu’a (NZ Warriors), Siliva Havili (Canberra Raiders), Ata Hingano (Canberra Raiders), Will Hopoate (Canterbury Bulldogs), Konrad Hurrell (Gold Coast Titans), Michael Jennings (Parramatta Eels), Robert Jennings (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Solomone Kata (NZ Warriors), Sione Katoa (Penrith Panthers), Samisoni Langi (Catalans Dragons), Tuimoala Lolohea (Wests Tigers), Sika Manu (Hull FC), Sam Moa (Catalans Dragons), Ben Murdoch-Masilla (Warrington Wolves), Joe Ofahengaue (Brisbane Broncos), Tevita Pangai Junior (Brisbane Broncos), Agnatius Paasi (NZ Warriors), Leviaha Pulu (NZ Warriors), Scott Sorenson (Cronulla Sharks), Ukuma Ta’ai (Huddersfield Giants), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys), Tevita Tatola (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters), Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels), Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters).

Jason Taumalolo leads the Tongan haka.
England v Tonga, Semi-Final, Rugby League World Cup 2017. RLWC2017. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland New Zealand. Saturday 25 November 2017 © Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Jason Taumalolo has committed to Mate Ma'a Tonga. Source: Photosport


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'Everyone makes a mistake' - Kiwis coach embracing Jesse Bromwich's Test return

New Zealand coach Michael Maguire has revealed former captain Jesse Bromwich is a part of the Test nation's leadership group to face Australia.

Bromwich and Kevin Proctor will make their anticipated return to the Kiwis fold on Saturday, almost 18 months after being axed for their role in a cocaine bust.

The pair were caught allegedly snorting cocaine hours after a mid-year Test against the Kangaroos, resulting in their dumping from the World Cup last year.

The scandal cost Bromwich the Kiwis' captaincy, however Maguire this week confirmed the Melbourne prop has been reinstated as a leader in the team.

"He's a part of the leadership group," Maguire told reporters.

"But at the moment he's very much about making sure he does what he needs to to get in the team and perform for the team."

With 41 Tests between them, Bromwich and Proctor will add some sorely needed experience to a youthful line-up at Mt Smart Stadium.

Joseph Manu and Brandon Smith are making their international debuts, while Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has been crowned captain at the tender age of 23.

It comes off the back of the unavailability of stars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Issac Luke, as well as the international retirements of a number of veteran players.

Maguire was reluctant to comment further on Bromwich and Proctor's return, but conceded the duo have been presented with a shot at redemption.

"I'm really hoping we can put a stop to all the chat about where they're at. Since I've started the role it's been about Kevvy and Jesse," Maguire said.

"I know talking to them and spending some time with both of those boys, they're really looking forward to being able to put that on the park and show everyone why they have that passion around that jersey.

"Everyone makes a mistake in their life but it's now their opportunity to turn that around. It all starts on Saturday."

Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor have both been recalled to the Kiwis' squad. Source: 1 NEWS


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'We'll have our hands full' – Tonga star Jason Taumalolo says Kangaroos new looked team still a huge threat

Mate Ma'a Tonga star Jason Taumalolo is under no illusion that the Kangaroos will pose threats right across the park come next Saturday in their historic Test in Auckland.

With Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater retired from international football Taumalolo believes the new looked Australian team will be a tough challenge.

"I think regardless they'll always going to be a strong team," said Taumalolo.

"The team that they have picked for this year’s game is no different.

"They might have lost some experience but with that they have got a lot of youth and a lot of talented players."

The Kangaroos have plenty of firepower with James Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell, Tom Tjbojevic, Luke Keary and Damien Cook named to start against the Kiwis this Saturday.

"We'll have our hands full come Saturday."

Taumalolo said without Australia's usual veterans they will have a lot of firepower with their young stars. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: Mate Ma'a Tonga stars welcomed with thousands of fans singing beautiful hymn

Thousands of diehard Mate Ma'a Tonga fans turned up to greet their rugby league heroes at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau on Wednesday night, despite the team's Sydney flight being delayed for several hours.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/sport/league/watch-konrad-hurrell-swan-dive-during-dance-celebrations-makes-mate-maa-tonga-fans-go-berserk

The Tongan league stars were welcomed by a beautiful hymn sung by their fans with Tuimoala Lolohea and a few of his teammates joining in too.

Tonga are set to face off against the Kangaroos next Saturday in a historical Test at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.

The Kangaroos first meet the Kiwis this Saturday in a triple-header at Mount Smart.

Despite their flight being delayed a few hours from Sydney the Tongan fans showed their support at Vodafone Events centre in Manukau. Source: 1 NEWS


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Watch: Konrad Hurrell swan dive during dance celebrations makes Mate Ma'a Tonga fans go berserk

NRL star Konrad Hurrell got Mate Ma'a Tonga fans hyped up as he swan dived on stage during his side's official welcome at the Vodafone Events Centre tonight in Manukau, Auckland.

After being welcomed with a prayer and hymn, the Tongan rugby league team joined their fans in celebration with song and dance.

Hurrell was joined by star teammate Jason Taumalolo in dancing with fans on stage, much to the delight of the Tongan fans.

Mate Ma'a Tonga are set to take on the Australian Kangaroos in a historic Test at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland next Saturday.

Hurell and teammate Jason Taumalolo joined fans dancing during their welcome at Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau. Source: 1 NEWS


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