In demand prop Suaia Matagi has officially declared his switch of allegiance from Samoa to the Kiwis by signing off on paperwork with the New Zealand Rugby League today.
Earlier this week Matagi was named by both the Kiwis and Toa Samoa for the upcoming Four Nations tournament with his switch to New Zealand dependent on an eligibility transfer from Samoa.
Matagi signed papers of allegiance at NZRL headquarters in Auckland today which need to be ratified by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) before the Kiwis can officially claim the 26-year-old Warriors forward as their own.
NZRL high performance general manager Tony Iro said it was just a matter of Matagi and the NZRL submitting the required documents before his place in the 24-man squad could be confirmed.
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"The paperwork needs to be sorted out and we're confident that it will be," Iro said.
Matagi has played three tests for Samoa, including their Four Nations qualifier against Fiji at Penrith back in May.
Samoa are looking to contest the Kiwis' right to Matagi, and yesterday approached the RLIF seeking clarification over international eligibility rules, with a response expected sometime today.
Samoan coach Matt Parish believes Matagi is tied to their team until the end of the next World Cup in 2017 or until the expiry of a two-year "Election Period".
The Kiwis disagree, believing Matagi can switch his allegiance with players allowed to make one change during an Election Period, as defined in the RLIF rules [ruling 3.3 and 3.5].
Matagi gets his chance with the Kiwis after the late withdrawal of Sydney Roosters front-rower Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.