15 Apr 2013

Sport: Host of ex Kiwis and Kangaroos named in Samoa and Tonga squads

10:41 am on 15 April 2013

Eight former Kiwis and two ex Kangaroos have been named in the Samoa and Tonga squads to face off in the Pacific Rugby League test in Penrith on Saturday.

Melbourne centre Junior Sa'u and Newcastle backrower David Fa'alogo will join Rabbitohs duo Roy Asotasi and Jeff Lima in making their Toa Samoa debut.

Parramatta stand-off Ben Roberts has also played for the Kiwis, but turned out for Samoa at the 2008 World Cup, while Cowboys wing Kalifa Fai Fai Loa has also been included subject to approval from the Rugby League International Federation.

One notable name missing was that of Manly centre Steve Matai who earlier this month switched his allegiance from New Zealand to Samoa.

Meanwhile Tonga coach Charles Tonga has named ex Kiwis Sika Manu and Fuifui Moimoi in his squad, alongside former Australia internationals Brent Kite and Anthony Tupou.

Moimoi and Kite turned out for Tonga earlier in their careers and Charles Tonga says it's a great to have them back.

"Just their presence and the experience they bring to the side mate I think is a big help as well. We've also got some young guys as well so it's a big bonus for us. It's also good as well coming to the end of their careers, that was one of the things they assured me: they didn't want to come back when they were old and couldn't play any more but they're still playing in their prime at the moment. They're very proud of their heritage mate and to give back to our nation mate that's what it's all about."

Charles Tonga says the one-off test is a huge opportunity for players to put their foot in the door ahead of the World Cup.

I told the guys don't take it lightly - this is an opportunity for you to put yourself in a position where you can lock yourself into your position for the World Cup. It's not only just having great names there but it's about transitioning and putting it on the field. Bring that pride back and that passion. Our players don't get paid that much - even to come back - so we hope to restore the pride back and hopefully in the future we encourage other players to come back and play for us.