He'll have competition for a starting spot, however David Fifita looms as one the biggest 'X-factor players' at this years Rugby League World Cup.

While some had him selected in their Kangaroos squad at the start of the season, a relatively wavy season for Fifita saw Titans' team mate Beau Fermor jump the former Bronco and earn a Prime Minister's XIII jersey, while Fifita has been selected by Tonga.

Fighting it out with Haumole Olakau'atu, Keaon Koloamatangi and the currently-suspended Jason Taumalolo for a back-row spot, Fifita has the potential to shrug off expectations and really live up to his potential at the World Cup.

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 29: Jason Taumalolo of Tonga looks on during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between Scotland and Tonga at Barlow Park on October 29, 2017 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Ever since signing the $1.2 million per season deal with the Gold Coast, Fifita has fallen under the weight of expectation. Sure, if you get offered that deal of course you'd take it, but in the words of Spider-Man's uncle, with great power, comes great responsibility.

Or in this case, with great pay, comes great scrutiny.

Fifita was labelled a '$1.2 million car crash' by Daily Telegraph journalist Dave Riccio a matter of months ago, however with salary caps and wages irrelevant for the international tournament, finally the edge forward can shrug the burden of expectation and deliver his potential.

The back-rower crossed for a hat-trick in Tonga's 48-12 warm-up win over France before they kickstart their tournament against Papua New Guinea on Wednesday morning (AEDT).

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 19: Tongan coach Kristian Woolf during the Tonga Captain's Run at Mt Smart Stadium on October 19, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Tonga's head coach and future Dolphins assistant Kristian Woolf believes Fifita can only improve as the tournament goes on.

"We've still got to figure out how to use him," Woolf told AAP.

"We've got an extremely powerful back row with Keaon Koloamatangi, Haumole Olakau'atu, Jason Taumalolo and Felise Kaufusi.

"What I will say about Dave is that I have been extremely impressed with him and the way he's fitted into camp.

"He's an exceptional athlete, he's got an ability most people don't.

"We've all got to be pulling in the same direction and David's going to be a big part of that."

The Queenslander is set to play a massive part in Tonga's fortunes this tournament as the Pacific nation aims to finish what they started in 2017's tournament, after they were eliminated against England after being disallowed a last-minute try.