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Vatuvei switching from Kiwis to Tonga

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017

Fit-again Kiwis great Manu Vatuvei is a making an international switch to represent Tonga.

Veteran winger Vatuvei, 31, is a late call-up to the Tongan team to face Fiji in Sydney on Saturday, replacing former Warriors team-mate Konrad Hurrell.

The hulking back's parents hail from Tonga.

Auckland-born Vatuvei has scored 22 tries in 29 Tests for the Kiwis in a Test career which spanned 11 years until 2015.

The scorer of 152 Warriors first grade tries, he has been hampered by injury this year.

He returned to the field last weekend, scoring a try in the Warriors reserve grade team's win over Wyong in Auckland.

Vatuvei's promotion means there are 15 Warriors players involved in Tests this week.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, David Fusitu'a, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, Simon Mannering and Issac Luke will play for the Kiwis against Australia in Canberra on Friday.

Vatuvei joins Tuimoala Lolohea and Ata Hingano in the Tonga squad while Ken Maumalo and Bunty Afoa will play for Samoa against England, and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad will represent the Cook Islands against Papua New Guinea.

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