WILL Hopoate has addressed the media at Tonga's World Cup squad announcement, urging the Kangaroos not to ban Andrew Fifita from representing the green and gold in future after his shock defection.
A beaming Hopoate said he was "excited" to be joined by Fifita and fellow big name Jason Taumalolo after the pair turned their back on Australia and New Zealand respectively to play for the Pacific nation of their heritage.
While Taumalolo announced his allegiance switch 24 hours before New Zealand were due to name their squad, Fifita sent shockwaves through the tournament by quitting the Kangaroos squad two days after he was named in it.
It's a decision sure to be met with outrage but Tonga fullback Hopoate said Fifita should be considered for Australia again next year, given the World Cup only comes around once every four years.
"I don't think so," Hopoate said when asked if Fifita should be banned.
"The World Cup's only on every four years and I think if he's playing good enough to play for Australia again next year than that's good for him.
"But this grows the game and I think he should be allowed to represent his heritage without it affecting future selection."
Andrew Fifita, Mahe Fonua, David Fusitu'a, Siliva Havilli, Ata Hingano, Will Hopoate, Konrad Hurrell, Michael Jennings, Solomone Kata, Sione Katoa, Samisoni Langi, Tuimoala Lolohea, Sika Manu, Manu Ma'u, Sam Moa, Ben Murdoch Masila, Joe Ofahengaue, Tevita Pangai Junior, Ukuma Ta'ai, Sio Suia Taukieaho, Jason Taumalolo, Peni Terepo, Daniel Tupou, Manu Vatuvei
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