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Lolohea and Hingano step out of the shadow

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/05/2017 Steve Zemek

The pair of Warriors back-up halves will have a chance to step out of the shadows of Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran when they run out for Tonga in Saturday's Pacific Test against Fiji. © Shuttersport Limited/Getty Imager The pair of Warriors back-up halves will have a chance to step out of the shadows of Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran when they run out for Tonga in Saturday's Pacific Test against Fiji. Tui Lolohea and Ata Hingano have a point to prove.

The pair of Warriors backup halves will have a chance to step out of the shadows of Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran when they run out for Tonga in Saturday's Pacific Test against Fiji.

Stuck behind the pair of New Zealand Test playmakers at club level, they have a chance to prove they belong on the big stage.

Hingano is widely viewed as the Warriors' next big thing and is in line to permanently take over the No.6 jumper full time if Foran moves on at season's end.

However, his future in Auckland is not assured.

When asked if he could see himself playing for another club, Hingano is brutally honest and realistic and says: "Yep."

"Being a Tongan and the position I'm in, I can really sell my profile," the 20-year-old said.

"But my club talks, contract talks, I'll leave that all to my agent."

In the minds of many, both could be first-pick halves at several clubs.

Lolohea hasn't been sighted in first grade since round four and has already attracted interest from Cronulla, Wests Tigers, Canberra, North Queensland and Newcastle.

As well, he's versatile enough to play anywhere in the backline and will be viewed as a commodity by many clubs when he comes off contract at season's end.

"I've seen a lot on social media and other clubs have been after me but I'm leaving that part to my manager," Lolohea said.

"I think to let my footy do the talking is the best way to put myself in the best position."

As well being a chance to represent their Tongan heritage, a World Cup spot is in the offing for both of them.

Lolohea is excited when the World Cup, which will be played in Australia and New Zealand at the end of the year, is mentioned.

"I was thinking about it the other day," Lolohea said

"I saw some of the videos after the last World Cup they had a couple of days back in Tonga and they looked like they had a good time. That kept in my head and representing my country is something that gives me a buzz."

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