It's been described as a devastating blow for New South Wales. And the Kiwis might be shaking in their boots as well.

But test league has received an amazing boost with one of the game's rising forwards turning down State of Origin selection to stick with Mate Ma'a Tonga, a move that will cost him a huge amount of money.

Broncos giant Tevita Pangai jnr has told New South Wales coach Brad Fittler that he would prefer to remain with Tonga, the Brisbane Courier Mail reports.

The Mail called it an " admirable show of loyalty. Pangai Jr has…walked away from a potential $90,000 payday for three Origin games."


It is another major plus for the Tongan league revolution, which has revitalised test football after years in the doldrums.

But while the Tongans are the international darlings, their players only receive about $3000 a game.

The Kiwis will play Tonga at Mt Smart on June 22, a much anticipated clash in a growing rivalry fueled by events surrounding Tonga's 2017 World Cup win in Hamilton.

Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita kicked the Tongan surge off by quitting the Kiwis and Kangaroos, a development which led to a sea of red at New Zealand stadiums where the team has played.

Tonga can field an awesome pack featuring Taumalolo, Fifita, Pangai and Roosters prop Sio Siua Taukeiaho, who has been in stunning form for the NRL champions.

Pangai told the Mail: ""This is it now … I'm with Tonga for good.

"I had some people in my ear convincing me to play for NSW but after talking to Jase and Sio (Siua Taukeiaho), my heart is with Tonga.

"Freddy spoke to me before the series about playing for NSW. I was really honoured to be invited to the NSW team dinner last year, the guys were great to me and I could see the culture Freddy was trying to build.


"But for me there is no camp like being with the Tongan boys.

"I'm glad in my mind it is put to bed. Things are simpler now. I can focus on the Broncos and hopefully play well enough to wear that Tongan jersey."

Fifita recently re-committed to Tonga saying: "The pinnacle of our game is to play for your country.

"And we've created something really good for international footy and I don't want it to drop off."

The 23-year-old Pangai has played four tests for Tonga including the sell out clash against Australia at Mt Smart Stadium last year.

But many believed the 113kg powerhouse would quit Tonga to play as an impact forward for New South Wales and eventually win Kangaroos selection.

Origin rules mean only players committed to Australia can play for New South Wales and Queensland.