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Tonga have whittled down their squad down to 19 for Saturday's test with the New Zealand Kiwis in Auckland, but Andrew Fifita remains.
Fifita, one of the key figures in the rise of Tonga as a rugby league nation, is fighting a dangerous contact charge which he was hit with after the Sharks' game against the Raiders, which lead to him being suspended for up to three weeks.
While Fifita will wait to find out whether he can play or not on Saturday, Eels' centre Michael Jennings is definitely out.
Jennings suffered a knee injury in the Eels' win over the Broncos and will miss the match against the Kiwis.
His brother Robert Jennings and Titans' prop Moeaki Fotuaika have also been released from the squad.
"It is a shame to lose Michael because he has really been playing well for Parramatta," said Mate Ma'a Tonga head coach Kristian Woolf.
"He has also brought wonderful experience to our side through the 2017 World Cup and in Tests last year.
"But we have some quality centres in our squad in Solomone Kata and Kotoni Staggs, so I know we can fill the hole left by Michael's injury."
Tonga will name the 17 players to face the Kiwis on Tuesday.
Tonga squad: John Asiata (Cowboys), Manase Fainu (Sea Eagles), Andrew Fifita (Sharks), Addin Fonua-Blake (Sea Eagles), David Fusitu'a (Warriors), Siliva Havili (Raiders), Tuimoala Lolohea (Leeds), Will Hopoate (Bulldogs), Solomone Kata (Warriors), Sione Katoa (Panthers), Manu Ma'u (Eels), Tevita Pangai Junior (Broncos), Kotoni Staggs (Broncos), Tevita (Junior) Tatola (Rabbitohs), Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Roosters), Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys), Peni Terepo (Eels), Daniel Tupou (Roosters), Sitili Tupouniua (Roosters)....PACNEWS
Meanwhile, Mate Ma'a Tonga star Jason Taumalolo says he is glad to see more NRL players choose to represent Pacific nations ahead of this weekend's international window.
Former Kiwis players Martin Taupau and Jamayne Isaako have opted to play for Toa Samoa against Papua New Guinea on Saturday in Sydney.
“Obviously, whenever you get guys wanting to go back and represent their heritage it is always special,” said Taumalolo.
“Seeing Martin and Jamayne go back, it's huge not only for their countries but for, obviously, their heritage themselves.
Taumalolo was heavily criticised in 2017 ahead of the Rugby League World Cup after making a late switch from the Kiwis to represent Tonga at the tournament.
Mate Ma'a Tonga went on to make the tournament’s semi-final, but were knocked out by England, going down 20-18 at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.
SOURCE: STUFF NZ/TVZN/PACNEWS
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