Agnatius Paasi enhancing Tonga World Cup chances, says Kristian Woolf

Drew Darbyshire
Agnatius Paasi St Helens SWpix

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf has been impressed with the displays of Agnatius Paasi this season, with the powerhouse prop wanting to play for Tonga again.

The 30-year-old put in yet another mammoth performance on Thursday night to help the Saints ease past Leeds 42-12, scoring his first try for the club in the process.

“He’s been great for us all year,” Woolf said after the game. “He’s been in our top couple of players all year.

“Every time we bring him off the bench he makes a real impact. He is starting to use his skill a little bit more now as well which has been great.

“He was outstanding and that was actually his first try for the club. He’s had a couple of near misses but that was his first try.

“It is not just the way he carries the ball, which is what he gets noticed for, but he is defending great as well. He is working really hard and is being physical, so he is getting both sides of the game right. I love what he’s doing at the moment.

“I took him off because we needed to get blokes back on the field; and make sure everyone gets a good run but he could have done an extra 10 minutes, no dramas. It was a great reward for him getting that try as well.”

Agnatius Paasi targets World Cup spot

Paasi was born in Lapaha in Tonga before moving to New Zealand at a young age. He made his international debut for Tonga in 2014, and is aiming for a place in Woolf’s Tonga squad come the end of year World Cup.

Woolf said: “Between him, Konny (Konrad Hurrell) and Will Hopoate, they are the three at our club all putting their hands up and saying they need to be considered.

“Will hasn’t been on the field as much as he’d like to but we know what he offers. If you look at how he played last week we know what he would offer us when he gets on the field a bit more too.

“There are some more guys over here that are putting their hands up. We are going to have a terrific squad.”

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