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)

Tonga are set to receive a massive boost less than ten days out from the Quarter Finals, with captain Jason Taumalolo set to return from suspension against the Cook Islands.

Taumalolo was slapped with a Grade 2 dangerous contact charge for his hit on Isaiah Papali'i in North Queensland's 24-20 preliminary final loss to the Parramatta Eels, earning the lock forward a three-game ban.

Similarly to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Taumalolo was able to serve one of his three games in a World Cup warm-up game, Tonga trouncing France 48-12 the week before their opening pool game.

Tonga v Wales: Rugby League World Cup
ST HELENS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Konrad Hurrell of Tonga is tackled by Rhys Williams of Wales during the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool D match between Tonga and Wales at Totally Wicked Stadium on October 24, 2022 in St Helens, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The Dally M medallist was unhappy at the time after being forced to miss time for his nation, instead preferring to serve the ban for the Cowboys.

“I have truly missed playing for Tonga and I am concerned that this suspension will interrupt my World Cup campaign,” Taumalolo said in late-September via his management.

“This could be my last World Cup for Tonga and I don't want to let my teammates nor our fans down. I don't believe I should miss out on Test matches for Tonga because of something I did playing for the Cowboys."

Despite missing a key figure in their forward pack, Tonga have persevered without Taumalolo, securing a 24-18 victory over Papua New Guinea before beating Wales 32-6 thanks to a Daniel Tupou hat-trick.

ST HELENS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Will Penisini of Tonga looks to break past Lachlan Lam of Papua New Guinea during Rugby League World Cup 2021 Pool D match between Tonga and Papua New Guinea at Totally Wicked Stadium on October 18, 2022 in St Helens, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The nation is spoiled for choices in the back-row, with Taumalolo joining the likes of David Fifita, Felise Kaufusi, Haumole Olakau'atu and Keaon Koloamatangi - the last of which spending time at hooker during their campaign.

Taumalolo is expected to be named for Tonga's final pool game, a 1:30am AEDT Monday clash against the Cook Islands. A victory will not only ensure Tonga finish top spot in their pool, but set up a likely Quarter Final clash against Samoa the following week.