Tupou keen for Tonga return

Wakefield forward Anthony Tupou has put his hand up to play for Tonga in next year’s World Cup.

Tupou last represented Tonga in 2013 and the 33-year old would like to play for the Mate Ma’a in the 2017 tournament.

“I am interested,” he told Love Rugby League.

“I played my first and only Test for Tonga in 2013. So we got to beat Samoa. In my career that’s one of my highlights.”

Born and raised in Newcastle, NSW, Tupou is eligible for Tonga through his heritage.

The back-rower, who played 11 Tests for the Kangaroos and four times for NSW, had 12 years in the NRL with the Roosters and Sharks before his move to Super League.

Tupou was actually selected for both the Australian and Tongan training squads for the 2008 World Cup.

Tonga lost the 2016 Polynesian Cup against Samoa 18-6 earlier this year.

The former Cronulla lock believes the Mate Ma’a will field a very strong team at the 2017 World Cup with the likes of Feleti Mateo, Sika Manu, Tony Williams, Konrad Hurrell, Daniel Tupou, Jorge Taufua, Mahe Fonua and Ben Murdoch-Masilia available.

“It’s always been strong,” Tupou said.

“We used to talk amongst otherselves that we can’t wait for the day when people final start to take notice [of Tonga] and put on these big games.

“And it’s finally starting to happen, a bit late in my career but still happy to see it happen.”

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