$600K Kiwi league star James Tamou thinks Australian passport fees a 'rip-off'

The North Queensland frontrower earns $600,000 a season, but is still waving a Kiwi passport. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The North Queensland frontrower earns $600,000 a season, but is still waving a Kiwi passport. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Turncoat test prop James Tamou is refusing to become an Aussie citizen because the fees are a "rip-off".

Tamou, raised in Palmerston North, caused a furore when he declared himself eligible for Australia in 2012, having been a member of the Kiwis' train-on squad the previous year.

Tamou, who plays his 12th league test when he lines up against the Kiwis tomorrow night, told the Courier-Mail: "Mate, have you seen the cost of it (applying to become an Australian citizen) these days?

"It's going to cost me around a thousand bucks. It's a rip-off. It's highway robbery. I'd rather spend that sort of money on the kids than a piece of paper."

The North Queensland frontrower earns $600,000 a season but is refusing to part company with various fees and is still waving a Kiwi passport.

Tamou's international u-turn enabled him to play State of Origin for New South Wales. He moved to Australia at the age of 13, and says his passion to be a fully-fledged Aussie has grown because of his family.

"Down the track, I guess it's something I should do because I'll have three kids soon and they'll all be true-blue Aussies. It's just so bloody expensive," he said.

"I really cherish putting on the green and gold jumper. It was hard at first. The media portrayed me as a traitor but I was there to do the job for the country I picked and I chose Australia."

- NZ Herald

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