World's best forward Taumalolo turns back on Kiwis

Section
Sport,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 3:23PM
Cowboys power-house Jason Taumalolo will turn out for Tonga at the World Cup. (Photo / Getty Images)
Cowboys power-house Jason Taumalolo will turn out for Tonga at the World Cup. (Photo / Getty Images)

The Kiwis' World Cup campaign appears in tatters.

Just hours after it was revealed Tohu Harris will miss the World Cup through injury, there's been another bombshell.

The Daily Telegraph in Australia reports North Queensland star Jason Taumalolo has withdrawn from the team.

The Telegraph says he's instead chosen to play for Tonga, the country he represented at the 2013 World Cup.

Taumalolo is arguably the world's best forward. The second-rower ran for the most metres in NRL history this year as the Cowboys made a fairy tale run to the grand final.

The Daily Telegraph understands Taumalolo’s decision was due to disappointment that Kiwis coach David Kidwell had dropped Melbourne prop Jesse Bromwich and Gold Coast forward Kevin Proctor from the team for disciplinary issues stemming from the ANZAC test.

The news follows hot on the heels that Melbourne Storm premiership winner Tohu Harris is set to miss the upcoming tournament through injury - and in another shock, veteran hooker Issac Luke has been dumped after a poor NRL season for the Warriors.

The Kiwis open their World Cup campaign against Samoa at Mt Smart Stadium on October 28, before completing the pool stage with matches against Scotland in Christchurch and Tonga in Hamilton.

But there is some good news for rugby league on this side of the ditch.

The Warriors have officially confirmed Kiwi captain Adam Blair’s signing on a three-year contract from next season.

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