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Kite to lead Tongan rugby league squad

NRL grand final rivals Brent Kite and Daniel Tupou headline a Tongan World Cup squad boasting plenty of muscle as they target a quarter-final clash with New Zealand.
Kite to lead Tongan rugby league squad
by AAP

SYDNEY, Oct 8 AAP - NRL grand final rivals Brent Kite and Daniel Tupou headline a Tongan World Cup squad boasting plenty of muscle as they target a quarter-final clash with New Zealand.

Manly's Penrith-bound prop Kite will captain the side, which includes 11 NRL regulars - with Sea Eagles winger Jorge Taufua, Parramatta front-rower Fuifui Moimoi and Penrith back-rower Sika Manu also in the 24-man group.

Moimoi, Manu and Kite will form a powerful pack which will also contain North Queensland's Jason Taumalolo - while Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell is sure to be a handful out wide.

Young Sydney Roosters playmaker Samisoni Langi and Penrith's NYC-winning captain Daniel Foster are set to form an inexperienced halves partnership.

The Tongans are expected to emerge as winners from group C - which also includes Scotland and Italy.

Should they top their group, the Tonga would likely face defending champions New Zealand in the quarter-finals.

As strong as they are, Tonga could have been a genuine semi-final contender had they been at full strength.

Injury and unavailability due to players opting to play for other countries has hurt the squad.

Canterbury's Tony Williams, Cronulla's Anthony Tupou, Manly prop Richie Fa'aoso and Parramatta centre Tonga_24/" style="color: #000; text-decoration: underline;">Willie Tonga are all injured, while Roosters front-rower Sam Moa was called up to play for New Zealand.

"We are fortunate to have many young guys willing to represent the nation," coach Charles Tonga said.

"We are doing this for our people, to give back to our country."

Squad: Brent Kite (Manly, capt), Sosaia Feki, Nesiasi MataiTonga, Pat Politoni (all Cronulla), Jorge Taufua (Manly), Mahe Fonua, Siosaia Vave (both Melbourne), SiuaTonga Likiliki (Newcastle), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland), Fuifui Moimoi, Peni Terepo, (both Parramatta), Sika Manu, Daniel Foster (both Penrith), Samisoni Langi, Nafe Seluini, Daniel Tupou (all Sydney Roosters), Glen Fisiiahi, Siliva Havili, Konrad Hurrell (all Warriors), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Wests Tigers), Ukuma Ta'ai (Huddersfield), Mickey Paea (Hull KR), Willie Manu (St Helens), Sydney Havea (Liahona Old Boys).


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