Jason Taumalolo

Jason Taumalolo: I'll retire from international football if issues with Mate Ma'a Tonga aren't resolved

The former Kiwis star and Cronulla's Andrew Fifita have led a Tongan player revolt, threatening to boycott next month's World Cup Nines and the end of year tests against Great Britain and Australia after coach Kristian Woolf was sacked.

The players want Tongan Rugby League chairman George Koloamatangi and secretary William Edwards ousted and Woolf reinstated after Frank Endacott was named as their new coach.

Taumalolo ready for another sea of red in New Zealand

Taumalolo says it is always overwhelming to see such support and they are looking forward to seeing the same turn out as the last one.

“It’s obviously hard to put in words. I guess the feeling does not become overwhelming until you take the field. So to be there alongside a crowd wearing red all around and singing the national anthem that’s when it really hits,” he said in an interview with NRL.com

Taumalolo said whenever fans sing a hymn or cheer that gives the boys a lift.

Cowboys’ $10million monster Jason Taumalolo breaks own record with huge game

The $10 million man had a previous best game of 283 running metres, set in Round 15 of the 2017 season against Melbourne.

On a rainy Saturday night in front of a home crowd, he smashed his own record, steamrolling St George Illawarra for a total 301 metres according to Fox Sports Lab.

Taumalolo surpassed his own 283-metre record with 12 minutes still to play in the game. It took him 20 carries to do it, which took him to 287 metres for the night. He then had one more to crack the triple century.

Cowboys skipper Michael Morgan put it simply.

Taumalolo eager to inspire next generation in Tonga

Taumalolo was honoured for his role in Tonga's rise at last year's World Cup by the re-naming of the national competition to the Jason Taumalolo Cup, while age competitions have been named after Tui Lolohea, Konrad Hurrell, Solomone Kata and Manu Vatuvei.

Tonga's World Cup success has led to an increase in the number of senior teams from 11 to 38 in one year, while the Test team played Australia for the first time in Auckland on Saturday night and are scheduled to meet New Zealand on June 22 next year.

'We'll have our hands full' – Tonga star Jason Taumalolo says Kangaroos new looked team still a huge threat

With Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Billy Slater retired from international football Taumalolo believes the new looked Australian team will be a tough challenge.

"I think regardless they'll always going to be a strong team," said Taumalolo.

"The team that they have picked for this year’s game is no different.

"They might have lost some experience but with that they have got a lot of youth and a lot of talented players."

Jason Taumalolo confirms commitment to Tonga

Taumalolo made an 11th-hour defection from New Zealand to the Pacific Island nation before last year's World Cup, where he led them to an historic win over the Kiwis, en route to the semi-finals.

On Wednesday, the North Queensland Cowboy told the team's website that he was fully committed long-term to Mate Ma'a, which he hopes to establish as an international powerhouse.

"The World Cup last year, I'd never been a part of something like that before," Taumalolo said. "It was a really special experience. 

Jason Taumalolo unveils his new attacking weapon

The 24-year-old Cowboys powerhouse has told NRL.com that he has the support and encouragement of star halfback Johnathan Thurston to increase his offloads this season and create more second phase play for the side's attacking stars.

"Most people when they watch me play always see the destructive side, and think that all I can do is break tackles or run over someone," Taumalolo told NRL.com.

"Trying to find a pass would be nice and trying to play a bit of second phase also, so it would be great if I could develop that part of my game.

Taumālolo, Lolohea receive land for Tonga’s RLWC achievement

The reward was confirmed by the noble Thursday in a cultural ceremony which was attended by the two Mate Ma’a Tonga players.

Kaniva News reports the reward was one of the highest honours a king’s noble could award.

The formal ceremony began with presentation of the cultural practice of hāʻunga (baked food normally and formally presented as a welcome) for the rugby league stars.

It was presented with puaka tohos (big hogs) and followed with a formal speech by the matāpule who represented Lord Kalaniuvalu.

Taumalolo enjoyed the last laugh

Days out from the Kiwis' squad being named for the tournament, Taumalolo made the shock decision to pledge allegiance to Tonga rather than his country of birth, neglecting to inform New Zealand officials along the way, leading to accusations of cowardice from both Kidwell and Kiwis captain Adam Blair.

But following Saturday's historic 28-22 victory over New Zealand, Taumalolo revealed regret at the way the situation played out.

"I definitely could have handled it a lot better to be honest, that was probably the biggest [regret]," Taumalolo said.

Kiwis captain headed for Taumalolo showdown

Except from one very important man.

Jason Taumalolo has dominated every aspect of this week's pre-Test build-up, having rocked the Kiwis with his last-minute Cup defection to Tonga.

The 24-year-old powerhouse has done all he can to avoid the public spotlight before the showdown in Hamilton, but he'll do plenty of talking on the field, Tongan coach Kristian Woolf says.

"Jason is Jason, always the same - out there having a laugh, having fun and, like everyone else, looking forward to the challenge," Woolf said.