Andrew Fifita pulls out of Kangaroos squad to play for Tonga

Andrew Fifita in action for the Kangaroos against the Kiwis during the Anzac test in May.
MARK KOLBE/GETTY IMAGES

Andrew Fifita in action for the Kangaroos against the Kiwis during the Anzac test in May.

Andrew Fifita has turned his back on Australia for the rugby league World Cup, joining New Zealand star Jason Taumalolo in defecting to Tonga.

Star Cronulla forward Fifita was named in Mal Meninga's Kangaroos squad this week but told the coach of his decision on Thursday.

Penrith forward Reagan Campbell-Gillard has been called into the Australian squad.

 "Andrew called me and said he was passionate about playing for Tonga and I respect and support that decision," Meninga said.
 
"It is obviously a significant boost for Tonga as well as the World Cup – and international Rugby League in general.
 
"At the same time it is also a great opportunity for someone like Reagan, who has been outstanding for the Panthers.
 
"I'm extremely excited about seeing Reagan in a Kangaroos jersey."

Tonga now shape as a huge chance to make the final. They meet the Kiwis during the pool stages in Hamilton on November 11.

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 - AAP

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