3 More former All Blacks want to make Pacific Island switch for RWC 2019

3 More former All Blacks want to make Pacific Island switch for RWC 2019

Former All Blacks Ma'a Nonu, Steven Luatua and Victor Vito have joined Charles Piutau, Frank Halai as players linked to a switch to Pacific Island nations for the next Rugby World Cup.


Piutau and Halai, who both have Tongan ancestry, want World Rugby to loosen the eligibility rules to allow capped players to return to tier-two nations.


"If there's a way to do it, I want to give something back and play for Tonga at the 2019 World Cup," Piutau told the Mail on Sunday.


Tonga are in the same pool as England for the World Cup.

"I have told the Tongan coach I would be on board if there's a way to do it," Piutau continued.

"If our sport followed the rugby league model, it would be a massive boost for the Pacific Islands and it would make the world stage competitive again.

"There's a lot of wasted talent. The rugby league boys put Tonga back on the map and union should do the same thing."

An identical policy has been introduced in rugby league and the Daily Mail report that Nonu and Vito could also make themselves available for Samoa under the proposals.


Vito, the 33-cap All Black with Samoan ancestry, said: "I made my bed with the All Blacks so I wouldn't want to take away the opportunity or development of a player who deserves it more, but I would love to play for Samoa."


Former All Black centre Sam Tuitupou believes a change could rescue Pacific Island rugby from the financial ruins.

"Samoa have been declared bankrupt, so if Ma'a Nonu or a guy like Steven Luatua came on board, that would attract a bit of sponsorship," Tuitupou told the Daily Mail.

"If we don't have guys like Steven and Charles Piutau competing at the World Cup, then we can't say it's a showcase of the world's best talent," he said.

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