Jason Taumalolo will not be playing for the Kiwis again any time soon.

The 25-year-old forward has confirmed his international playing career will remain with Tonga on a long-term basis.

A dominant force up front for the North Queensland Cowboys, Taumalolo led Tonga into the semifinals of last year's Rugby League World Cup after a late defection from the Kiwis.

As reported by the Herald on Sunday, all of late Kiwis defectors from 2017 as expected to join Taumalolo in remaining with Tonga.


Warriors wing David Fusitu'a has already opted for the red jersey again and Kiwis coach Michael Maguire expects the other high-profile former Kiwis - Manu Ma'u, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Solomone Kata - to do the same.

"As far as I know, they're all going to be aligned with Tonga," Maguire told the Herald on Sunday. "They haven't made any approach there. I've spoken to various people in the background about what they want to do and I understand those guys are going to be sticking with Tonga."

Speaking to cowboys.com.au, Taumalolo said he was hoping to help the nation continue their rise on the representative level.

"Myself along with a number of other players, have recommitted to Tonga again because we are passionate about our heritage and we also want to help make international rugby league stronger and the best way for us to do that is by making Tonga a competitive team internationally," he said.

"I hope the governing bodies of the game also follow suit by making sure Tonga and other tier two nations have the opportunity to play regular meaningful games against tier one nations."

Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita will both continue to represent Tonga. Photo / Getty Images
Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita will both continue to represent Tonga. Photo / Getty Images

Cronulla Sharks prop Andrew Fifita expressed his decision to continue playing for Tonga going forward earlier in the year, which took him out of consideration for the New South Wales State of Origin squad.

Tongan rep players remain eligible to play State of Origin - only appearances for New Zealand and England make players unavailable - however with Tonga taking on Samoa on the same weekend as Origin II, Fifita would be unavailable for the second match of the series.

Tonga will take on Samoa on June 23, with Origin II being played the following day.