NRL Rd 3 - Broncos v Cowboys
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27: Jeremiah Nanai of the Cowboys (L) is tackled by Herbie Farnworth of the Broncos during the round three NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, on March 27, 2022, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Dan Peled/Getty Images)

Australia could be rocked yet again in the lead up to the 2022 Rugby League World Cup, with star North Queensland Cowboys and Queensland Maroons back rower Jeremiah Nanai considering a switch to play for Samoa.

Nanai is eligible for both Samoa and Australia, having also snubbed New Zealand earlier this year by electing to play for the Maroons during a successful State of Origin campaign.

It was tipped that the boom rookie would be a walk up start for Mal Meninga's World Cup squad, however, it's now understood that a change of heart could see him run out for Toa Samoa.

The Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that he is yet to make his decision yet, but sources suggest he will indeed turn his back on the green and gold.

It would mean Nanai would join a powerful Samoan team which has already seen a host of State of Origin players turn their back on Meninga's team. Penrith Panthers' trio Brian To'o, Jarome Luai and Stephen Crichton have all elected to play for the Pacific Island nation, alongside Queensland's Josh Papalii.

New South Wales squad member Joseph Suaalii, who was also considered a walk up starter for the Kangaroos after a stunning second half of 2022 at the Sydney Roosters, also elected to play for Samoa yesterday where he will take the number one jumper.

Nanai's decision may not yet be official, however, Matt Parish's side are now being tipped as one of the tournament dark horses and would only continue to strengthen should the addition of Nanai be confirmed.

Samoa are in Group A alongside England, France and Greece, while Australia are in Group B with Fiji, Scotland and Italy their opponents.