Teenaged rugby sensation Taniela Tupou could be snatched from New Zealand with reports he wants to play for the Wallabies.
The 18-year-old, 135-kilogram Auckland-based prop, has made headlines around the world after his three tries for Sacred Heart College last weekend hit the web, showing rare speed and skills for a player of his size.
The Daily Telegraph in Australia reports interest in Tupou is heating up from rugby union and league.
They suggest four countries are interested in snaring Tupou.
League clubs reportedly chasing him include NRL teams the Newcastle Knights and New Zealand Warriors.
French and English rugby union clubs have also signalled interest, along with New Zealand Super Rugby teams the Chiefs and Blues, and the Sydney-based Waratahs.
Not having a New Zealand passport is hindering Tupou's abilities to play rugby for the highly successful New Zealand Schools team, a traditional stepping stone to the All Blacks.
But it seems an Australian jersey is the one he treasures, according to his older brother Criff, a miner who is based in Tasmania.
"Always growing up, he wanted to play for the Wallabies or the Kangaroos," Criff told the Daily Telegraph.
He said Tupou's interest in playing for Australia was "because the Wallabies always have a lot of Tongans in their team, and the All Blacks don't have too many".
Tupou is one of 11 children and moved to New Zealand from Tonga four years ago.
- Fairfax Media