Tongan star Andrew Fifita has declared that as many as 30 players are prepared to miss the upcoming international fixture until a new board is elected.
The World Cup Nines are set for next month followed by Tests against Great Britain and Australia, however, a fallout between Tonga’s players and officials have sent the the Mate Ma’a into a state of flux.
Big names like Fifita, Jason Taumalolo, Will Hopoate, Manu Ma’u, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Tevita Pangai Junior are all threatening to sit out the upcoming games.
“I’m talking at least 30 people, and there’s more. And we’re not talking just the normal playing group with 17 of us,” Fifita told AAP.
“They don’t want to play for the (current) board.
“Players will stand united and just wait, because it’s not just about what they’ve done. They’ve lost the trust. We need them to step aside now.”
The Tongan National Rugby League installed Frank Endacott as the new coach after sacking Kristian Woolf, alleging that the latter refused to give details of the team’s financial accounts.
And Fifita has questioned the process of the new appointment while pledging his allegiance to Woolf.
“Is [Endacott] the right choice? I don’t think so,” Fifita said.
“The guys are going behind our backs. You’d normally go to your senior leaders and ask who’s the right fit for it.
“At the end of the day, we get this new board, everyone come back in. They brushed the whole coaching staff and we don’t even know who this new coach is.
“I know they’re trying to reach out and we’ve all declined. That’s just us. We’re just too loyal. Woolfy never done a thing wrong.”