Fifita may stay with Tonga

Andrew Fifita has given a forceful indication that he and his fellow Mate Ma'a "defectors" will be sticking with Tonga.

Former Australia prop Fifita, denied what he thought was a fair try in the final seconds of an historic semi-final against England, said the team had "rocked the world" over the past five weeks.

"I'm here now - I think we all [are]," Fifita told reporters after the 20-18 loss before 30,003 fans at Mt Smart Stadium.

"Wearing a red jersey, we can't wait until the Pacific series next year. It took a few of us to rock the world. When I say rock the world, I mean we did."

Tonga plays Samoa on the same weekend as Origin in 2018. Asked if he still wanted to represent NSW, the Cronulla giant said: "At the moment, it's all up in the air.

"I wear my heart on my sleeve, I concentrate on my football and that's next year."

Fifita pulled out of the Australian team to represent Tonga while Jason Taumalolo, Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Manu Ma'u and David Fusitu’a turned down the chance to play for New Zealand.

Asked if he had any regrets of missing a World Cup final because of his decision, he said: "No chance. Come on now. I'm proud of my decision. My parents, my grandfather, my family, the boys in there ... I'm proud of how far we've gone."

Asked if he would play for Australia again, Fifita said: "That's next year. At the moment I'm wearing a red jersey. I can't speak on that just yet. I can't want to get back to my family.

"[Mal Meninga] told me there was no black line through my name. He said, 'You know me, I pick the best 17.'"

Fifita said Tonga were "the people's champ - I'm happy with that, I think the world's happy with that.

"I [didn't] think the World Cup [would] be as big as you saw it today. You saw last night's game [between Australia and Fiji] with the [poor] crowd.

"Everywhere we went, the crowd was there. Look, at the end of the day our Tongan fans were proud of us. 

"I'm not just talking about here. I'm talking about Sydney, I'm talking about Australia, America. 

"I know Tonga will be going off its nuts. Every Pacific nation is behind us. I'm just proud of all 24 players in this squad.

"We wanted to put Tonga on the map. We were ranked 11th. We're in the top three in world now. To put it to the England side ... not only did we beat New Zealand but we almost had a chance..."



Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung. Caption: Andrew Fifita (L) and Jason Taumalolo affter Toinga's narrow Rugby League World Cup semifinal defeat to England.