'It means playing for my family' – young Samoan rugby stars turning back on NZ for land of their ancestors

The trend for Pacific Island league stars to ditch top tier teams in favour of their home country is starting to influence players across codes.

This comes after eight New Zealanders and one Australian controversially switched allegiances to play their international rugby league for Tonga at the World Cup last month.

Junior Poluleuligaga, coach of the Samoan Barbarians sevens says the Tongan league players have made a big impact on school boy rugby.

"They really made a mark and inspired the younger Polynesian boys to really think about their decision and if you do get an opportunity to represent your island country - take it".

Two of his players had initially been asked to play for the New Zealand team at this weekend's World School Sevens tournament - but they opted to play for Samoa instead.

One of them, Jeriah Mua, says it was a hard decision but in the end he choose Samoa because of his pride in his country.