Sydney Roosters winger Joseph Suaalii has turned down the opportunity to represent the Australian Kangaroos at the upcoming Rugby League World Cup, instead pledging allegiance to Samoa for the tournament.

The teenage sensation was named in the RLPA Dream Team on Tuesday after being voted one of the two best wingers this season by his peers, however despite the praise for the youngster, Suaalii has turned his back on a green-and-gold jersey - for this year.

Suaalii was all but certain to find his way into Meninga's 24-man squad for the tournament, having already been included in the extended squad for the nation, while pissing the Prime Minister's XIII clash with a niggling shoulder injury.

The 19 year-old phoned Mal Meninga personally on Tuesday to deliver the news, revealing the decision was made for his family.

“For family reasons, I have decided to pledge my allegiance to Samoa for the upcoming World Cup,” Suaalii told The Daily Telegraph.

“This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my career. I have been humbled by the respect shown to me and my family by Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga.

“I personally called him on Tuesday to let him know of my decision. I can’t thank him enough for considering me but this is about more than football.

“This is about respecting my family and the sacrifices they have made for me throughout my career. My grandparents still live in Samoa and I am looking forward to honouring them and my parents by pulling on the Samoan jersey.

“One day, I hope to play for Australia. I truly believe Samoa can do great things at this World Cup and I can’t wait to be part of it.”

DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 17: The Samoan team perform their haka during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Quarter Final match between Australia and Samoa at Darwin Stadium on November 17, 2017 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

While it opens the door for a host of other names to come into contention, it creates a selection headache for Samoan head coach Matt Parish, who has an embarrassment of riches in the backline.

David Nofoaluma scored four tries for the Pacific nation in the mid-season test against the Cook Islands, but now shapes to miss selection in the main 17, contending with Brian To'o, Stephen Crichton, Taylan May, Izack Tago, Charlie Staines, Jaxson Paulo, Mathew Feagai and now Suaalii.

While Payne Haas had pledged for Samoa before being ruled out of the tournament with injury, Australia has snuck back with a few blows of their own, gaining the likes of Jeremiah Nanai, Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and Murray Taulagi, who have all pledged for the Kangaroos.