Israel Folau could battle his former international teammates with reports suggesting Tonga could pick the ex-Australia full-back.
He was given birth in New South Wales to Tongan parents, and with new World Rugby Laws in place, the 33-year-old could be picked by the islanders. Players can represent a second nation “via birthright” after a three-year cool-down period without playing at the international level.
The Sea Eagles hope to face the Wallabies in Brisbane next year, shortly before France hosts the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Tonga boss Toutai Kefu said Folau’s “eyes lit up” at the prospect of representing Tonga at the World Cup.
“Putting this team together for next year, many of the other players, like Charles Piutau, saw George Moala and Pita Ahki on Wednesday, Malakai Fekitoa. They all keep asking Izzy going to play?” he said. “And I’ve said to them that he’s bought in.”
Folau has been responsible for some controversial social media posts in the past, with his views on homosexuality leading to widespread scorn.