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Ma’a Nonu’s keen to play for this pacific nation at the 2019 RWC!

What's Fresh 04/12/2017

Ma'a Nonu could be wearing the blue of Manu Samoa at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

After the success of Tonga and Fiji at the recent Rugby League World Cup, there are calls for World Rugby to loosen eligibility rules, allowing capped players to return for tier-two nations.

The Daily Mail reports that Nonu and former All Blacks teammate Victor Vito have signalled interest in playing for Samoa under the proposed changes.

The two World Cup winners join the likes of Charles Piutau, Frank Halai and former Wallaby Anthony Fainga'a who have been tapped by Tongan coach Totai Kefu for 2019 in Japan.

Under current World Rugby rules, a player must sit in the international wilderness for three years, before being available to play for a tier-two nation, but they must play on the Sevens World Series circuit, before they can represent their new nation in fifteens.

Piutau has told the Daily Mail that administrators need to match the laws used by their rugby league counterparts.

"If there's a way to do it, I want to give something back and play for Tonga at the 2019 World Cup," he said.

"There's a lot of wasted talent. The rugby league boys put Tonga back on the map and union should do the same thing.

"I have told the Tongan coach I would be on board, if there's a way to do it," Piutau continued.

"If our sport followed the rugby league model, it would be a massive boost for the Pacific Islands and it would make the world stage competitive again.

Piutau's former Blues teammate, Halai, backed the thoughts of the 26-year-old.

"Tier-two countries need a boost," Halai said. "I would switch to Tonga if I had the chance."

Former All Black centre Sam Tuitupou believes a change could rescue Pacific Island rugby from the financial ruins.

"Samoa have been declared bankrupt, so if Ma'a Nonu or a guy like Steven Luatua came on board, that would attract a bit of sponsorship," Tuitupou told the Daily Mail.

"If we don't have guys like Steven and Charles Piutau competing at the World Cup, then we can't say it's a showcase of the world's best talent," he said.