15 Sep 2010

Williams turns back on Kiwis

7:42 am on 15 September 2010

Australia has won the three-way tug-o-war for the services of league player Tony Williams, with the giant Manly winger confirming his allegiance to the green and gold following his selection in the Prime Minister's 13.

Williams, who played for Tonga in the Pacific Cup last year, became a hot commodity on the representative scene with three countries bidding for talents following several destructive performances for the Sea Eagles this year.

With Tonga having already signalled their intentions to pick him in their side for next month's clash against Samoa - which will act as the curtain-raiser to Australia's Four Nations opener against Papua New Guinea at Parramatta Stadium - New Zealand last week named him in their preliminary 43-man squad to compete in the four-team tournament.

But the Australians trumped both by including the man known as 'T-Rex' in the PM's XIII, with players named in the Mal Meninga-coach side to take on Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on September 26th also eligible for Kangaroos selection.

Williams' manager Issac Moses says the players allegiances are with Tonga and Australia.

Moses says Williams, who was born in western Sydney and whose parents are both from Tonga, will be available for Australian selection for the Four Nations, but if overlooked, will represent for Tonga against Samoa.

Rugby League International Federation development manager Tas Baitieri says Williams' NRL registration stipulated his country of election was Australia and his country of heritage Tonga.