HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 04: Andrew Fifita of Tonga in action during the 2017 Rugby League World Cup match between Samoa and Tonga at Waikato Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Tonga have reduced their squad down to 19 for Saturday’s clash with New Zealand at Mt Smart Stadium.

Cronulla’s Andrew Fifita has been named to play despite the fact that he is currently facing a suspension for up to three weeks for a dangerous contact charge in the Sharks’ loss to the Raiders.

Parramatta’s Michael Jennings does not feature after suffering a knee injury in his side’s win over Brisbane. His brother Robert Jennings and the Gold Coast’s Moeaki Fotuaika have also been cut from the initial squad.

Mate Ma’a Tonga head coach Kristian Woolf lamented the loss of the Eels centre.

“It is a shame to lose Michael because he has really been playing well for Parramatta,” Woolf told stuff.co.nz.

“He has also brought wonderful experience to our side through the 2017 World Cup and in Tests last year.

“But we have some quality centres in our squad in Solomone Kata and Kotoni Staggs, so I know we can fill the hole left by Michael’s injury.”

The final 17 will be named on Tuesday.

Tonga squad

John Asiata (Cowboys)
Manase Fainu (Sea Eagles)
Andrew Fifita (Sharks)
Addin Fonua-Blake (Sea Eagles)
David Fusitu’a (Warriors)
Siliva Havili (Raiders)
Tuimoala Lolohea (Leeds)
Will Hopoate (Bulldogs)
Solomone Kata (Warriors)
Sione Katoa (Panthers)
Manu Ma’u (Eels)
Tevita Pangai Junior (Broncos)
Kotoni Staggs (Broncos)
Tevita Tatola (Rabbitohs)
Sio Siua Taukeiaho (Roosters)
Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
Peni Terepo (Eels)
Daniel Tupou (Roosters)
Sitili Tupouniua (Roosters)