Front rower Andrew Fifita has pulled out of Australia's squad to play for Mate Ma'a Tonga at this year's Rugby League World Cup.
Fifita was named in Australia's 24-man squad on Tuesday but has pulled out, his place taken by Penrith's Reagan Campbell-Gillard.
His defection follows Kiwi loose forward Jason Taumalolo's decision revealed yesterday to turn down the opportunity to represent the Kiwis at the World Cup and play for Tonga instead.
Fifita informed Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga today of his desire to represent Tonga.
“Andrew called me and said he was passionate about playing for Tonga and I respect and support that decision,” said Meninga.
“It is obviously a significant boost for Tonga as well as the World Cup and international rugby league in general.
“At the same time it is also a great opportunity for someone like Reagan, who has been outstanding for the Panthers.
“I’m extremely excited about seeing him in a Kangaroos jersey.”