James Tamou open to playing for New Zealand Maori again

Penrith star James Tamou has confirmed that he would be open to returning to the New Zealand Maori side.

The 29-year-old pledged his allegiance to Australia over the Kiwis in controversial circumstances five years ago but has now said that he would be open to a return to Maori.

Tamou holds a New Zealand passport and opted to play for the Kangaroos after being persuaded to play in the State of Origin under ex-NSW Blues coach Ricky Stuart.

He sung both the Australian and New Zealand national anthems during Penrith’s recent Anzac clash against Canterbury Bulldogs.

But he revealed he is equally as proud to represent both Australia and New Zealand Maori.

He told NRL.com: “It was something I wanted to do for both countries – sing for them.

“I’d love to (represent Maori), especially with the young players coming through.

“It’s a scary pool of talent they’ve got. They’re talking about a game next year, hopefully that goes forward and I can be a part of that.

“I remember playing at the start of my career and it was a stepping stone for me. It would be a nice touch to play again.

“My wife is part-Australian and kids are too, but being a Maori it’s still in my life and blood. You can’t always go away from that and that’s why I sung both (anthems).”

About Drew Darbyshire 8324 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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