Kiwis fans shouldn't expect Jason Taumalolo to feature in the black and white jersey again after the North Queensland wrecking ball backed the idea of Tonga playing a test in Hawaii.

Taumalolo returned to Cowboys training this week for the first time after shunning New Zealand to lead Tonga's charge through to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Under international rules, the Auckland-born 24-year-old can change his allegiance back to New Zealand, after previously playing 10 tests for the Kiwis.

But the 2016 Dally M Medallist is expected to stick with the Island nation, who he qualifies for through his father, and looks set to line up against Samoa in the mid-season Pacific test.


An end of season test between Australia and Tonga has also been touted and Taumalolo said he hoped to feature 9in the historic match if it goes ahead.

"It would be a great idea," said Taumalolo.

"Taking a game overseas and expanding the game in other countries. What better way to do it than take a game to Hawaii or anywhere overseas?

"I'm fully with that decision if it happens. If it does happen, hopefully I can be a part of it.

"We'll find out soon (about my decision). We've got the Pacific test halfway through the year or whoever is playing then.

"I'm sure I'll make up my mind sooner rather than later."

While Taumalolo is yet to make a firm decision, his enthusiasm when speaking about Tonga is obvious and it is hard to see him choosing to return to the Kiwis.

But playing for Tonga will hold little financial reward for the game's most destructive forward and he backed calls for second-tier nations to receive a rise in pay and to play more test matches.

"The boys in some of the tier-two nations have done pretty well in the World Cup and improved," he said.

"It's definitely tighter on the international stage.

The former Kiwis test star returned to club training with the Cowboys this week after a six-week break. Photo / Getty Images.
The former Kiwis test star returned to club training with the Cowboys this week after a six-week break. Photo / Getty Images.

Taumalolo and Kangaroos international Michael Morgan returned to club duties under Cowboys coach Paul Green fresh from a six-week break.

Green and Morgan are set to become some of the hottest properties on the NRL market this year, with their reputations only enhanced by the Cowboys' injury- ravaged run to last year's grand final.

Green confirmed last month his preference was to stay on at North Queensland, but said he would be prepared to move back to Sydney if it was his family's best option.

Taumalolo desperately hopes that situation doesn't eventuate.

"They're big crucial parts of us as a team," Taumalolo said. "Obviously when Greeny first came to the club he had a plan for me and what he wanted to do as a coach and changing the way I played.

"That obviously worked a lot for me and I can't thank him enough for that.

"He was one of the main reasons I wanted to stay here at the club and sign a long-term deal so as long as Greeny is around I will be happy."

Morgan's signature is a priority for the Cowboys this season with the salary cap space set to be opened by Johnathan Thurston's retirement, as they expect the 26-year-old to take over the team's attack and captaincy.

"I would like to spend the rest of my career playing next to Morgo," Taumalolo said.

"Obviously Morgo being a local boy and growing up to be the player he is today - words can't describe how important they (Green and Morgan) are to the team and future of this club.

"Hopefully the Cowboys lock him up as soon as possible."

- with AAP