'Tongan Thor’ Taniela Tupou confirms he's leaving New Zealand rugby

The schoolboy rugby sensation dubbed “the Tongan Thor” quashed some speculation about his future when he revealed he will leave at the end of this school year term and  play rugby for Australia.

The 18-year-old Taniela Tupou refused to sign a loyalty agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Union last weekend.

The agreement will allow him to be eligible for its Schoolboys team, after initially being blocked because he only carried a Tongan passport, The New Zealand Herald reported.

”If I signed it I wouldn’t be able to go to Australia,” he said.

The Tongan born 135kg prop told Herald he wanted to unite with his brother and sister who live in Australia.

As is the case with New Zealand selection for New Zealand National Rugby players, players must hold a New Zealand passport or a resident visa.

He told Herald how he was being treated after New Zealand rugby authorities found out he was not eligible to play for New Zealand national teams.

“They said that ‘if you’re not on a New Zealand passport and you’ve been here for four years, you can play for the team’,” Tupou said.

“But I’ve been here for four years and they said I can’t play for the New Zealand A team. It’s not fair. Maybe I’m not good enough to stay here.

“But that’s one of my goals this year — to play for the New Zealand A team. If I can play with them, then maybe I’ll change my mind from going to Australia. If I have the chance to play for the All Blacks, I’ll take it.”

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