(NZ Herald) Veteren Warriors wing Manu Vatuvei is set to trade the black and white of the Kiwis for the red and white of Mate Ma’a Tonga this weekend after being called into the Tongan squad for their match against Fiji in Sydney.
The 31-year-old returned from injury to score a try for the Warriors’ reserve grade side against Wyong on Sunday, and has now been rushed into the Tonga squad as a replacement for former Warriors teammate Konrad Hurrell, who has been ruled out.
Vatuvei is one of the most decorated Kiwis players ever, having won the Tri-Nations in 2005, two Four Nations titles in 2010 and 2014, and a World Cup title in 2008.
He has scored 20 tries in 28 test appearances since his international debut against Australia in 2005.
Tonga’s fixture against Fiji is one third of a triple header at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday, with the Cook Islands taking on Papua New Guinea to kick-off the day, and Samoa’s clash against England set to conclude it.
Warriors players selected for international sides this weekend:
Kiwis: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, David Fusitu’a, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering and Issac Luke
Mate Ma’a Tonga: Manu Vatuvei, Tuimoala Lolohea and Ata Hingano
Toa Samoa: Ken Maumalo and Bunty Afoa
Cook Islands: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Junior Kiwis: Chanel Harris-Tavita, Erin Clark and Isaiah Papali’i