Charles Piutau won't represent Tonga at next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, after it was ruled that the former All Blacks winger doesn't meet the requirements to represent another nation.
Piutau, 27, played the last of his 17 Test matches for the All Blacks back in 2015, moving to Irish club Ulster before a lucrative switch to Bristol.
Speaking in November last year, Tonga coach Toutai Kefu outlined his intention to see Piutau play for the nation of his heritage at the 2019 tournament in Japan.
However, Piutau's attempts to switch allegiances have been snuffed, having not represented Tonga in an Olympic qualifying Sevens tournament, a prerequisite alongside a three-year stand-down period.
"It got ruled out a couple of months ago," Kefu told Stuff.
"We were actively exploring a group of players, not just Charles, that were in the same boat and whether we could qualify them before the World Cup, and we can't.
"It"s just an extra hoop we don't need players to jump through - the three years alone, stand-down, is fine."
The result means that Piutau won't be eligible to play for Tonga until the next World Cup cycle.