Mate Ma'a Tonga boasts some of the best players in the sport, including Cowboys lock Jason Taumalolo, Cronulla prop Andrew Fifita and Warriors winger David Fusitu'a.
A blockbuster test match between Tonga and New Zealand Māori, pegged to be hosted in Rotorua next month, has been called off.
The game was to be staged a week before Tonga's historic clash against the Kangaroos in Auckland on October 20.
However, a spokesman for Walco Events told the Rotorua Daily Post the game had been called off because it did not get support from the NRL.
Tonga were arguably the most popular team at last year's World Cup, selling out matches in Hamilton (twice) and Auckland, on their memorable run to the last four.