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John Key says the "door is wide open" for former All Black Michael Jones to stand for National if he decides he wants to be an MP.
Mr Jones is on the Prime Minister's trip to the Pacific, as is Va'iga Tuigamala.
Mr Key said he had tried to encourage Mr Jones to stand in 2008, but he had chosen not to for family reasons. He said if Mr Jones changed his mind, "the door is wide open".
"We'd love to have him stand as a candidate. If he was to put his hand up, I think he would be a very welcome addition to the National Party caucus. But in the end the ball's in his court."
Michael Jones and Va'iga Tuigamala both publicly supported Mr Key during last year's election campaign.
Mr Jones said later that he had no plans to stand as yet but could not definitely rule out doing so in the future.
He described Mr Key as a "progressive thinker" with a strong commitment to economic development in the Pacific, with a need for social benefits.