Andrew Fifita grateful for Tonga Test against Australia

Andrew Fifita said he it will be a huge honour to play for Tonga against Australia this autumn.

It has been confirmed that the Mate Ma’a will face the Kangaroos for the first ever time on October 20 at the Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

Fifita was born and raised in Australia but has Tongan family heritage through his father and grandparents.

Having represented both Tonga and Australia, Fifita is raring to go in the one-off Test match.

He told NRL.com: “We have never had the chance to face Australia, so it is exciting times, especially with the team we have at the moment.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity for our tiny island. When you have got the king pushing the button on and pushing our tiny island to get a Test against the world’s greatest in Australia is good.

“There has been a big amount of interest in the Test from people in Sydney, from the islands and people from America and I think people worldwide will be coming over for this game.

“I know that I will be representing my father when I go out there and I know my grandparents will be very excited and I’m as grateful as ever. When I found out the game was going ahead, my family flew over and they wanted to get in early before everyone else jumps on board.”

Australia players had to take a significant pay-cut from their usual $20,000 Test fee for the game to go ahead, with some of the money going towards the Tonga representatives.

But Fifita thinks international rugby league should be played regardless of match commission.

He added: “For us, it wasn’t about the money.

“I know it was about money for a lot of the Aussies and them taking the sacrifice to play us. When I was playing international rugby league and wearing the green and gold, it wasn’t about match payments for me because it was just an honour to represent my country.

“The Aussie boys have come through and they want to take on our Tongan team. It is exciting for our game and for our country, we are going on to bigger and better things now.”

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