Andrew Fifita calls on top silk to keep Tongan Test dream alive

Andrew Fifita is so desperate to keep his Tongan Test dream alive he has called on the same high-flying lawyer who helped Billy Slater beat a suspension and play in last year's NRL grand final.

Fifita is expected to fly to New Zealand on Sunday night and join the Tongan camp ahead of Saturday's blockbuster against the Kiwis. He will appear at the NRL judiciary via video link where he runs the risk of being suspended three matches for a dangerous contact charge.

Fifita landed in hot water for his crusher tackle on Canberra's Ryan Sutton, but reached out to top silk Nick Ghabar to argue his case.

The Sharks superstar will plead guilty to the charge, but seek a downgrade from a grade two to a grade one, which would mean escaping a ban.

Lose and he will miss Tonga's clash, as well as Cronulla's next two games against Canterbury and Brisbane.

Fifita and Jason Taumalolo were the two players who changed international rugby league forever when they turned their backs on Australia and New Zealand – and huge pay packets – for the chance to represent the Pacific nation at the 2017 World Cup.

Tongan coach Kristian Woolf knows how much Saturday's Test against New Zealand means to the Cronulla wrecking ball.

"We'd love to have him available, and it's no secret what playing for Tonga means to him," Woolf said. "You can never discredit the amount of sacrifice a lot of these guys have made to be a part of the Tongan team and Andrew has been at the forefront of that. If he was to miss next Saturday it would be disappointing for him and the team.

"If he can't play, we'll need to move on and we'll have massive faith in the other guys there to find a little more out of themselves. And there are worse things than missing one game. He'll certainly be playing with us at the end of the year in some big games [including Australia]."

Fifita joins arguably the best forward pack on the world stage with Taumalolo, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and now Tevita Pangai jnr to bang away at New Zealand through the middle at a packed Mt Smart Stadium.

Woolf was happy to declare "we have the best forwards in the world".

Based on the sea of red at the same Auckland venue for the historic Test against the Kangaroos last year, there's every chance the Tongans could prove more popular than the hosts.

Pangai jnr made the call to link with Tonga at the expense of representing NSW. He made the call before the start of the Origin series, meaning there was no chance he would be called up for injured front-rower David Klemmer.

Meanwhile, Lebanon are expected to have Robbie Farah and Josh Mansour for their clash against Fiji at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night. The Sims brothers, Korbin and Tariq, have been listed by Fiji, as has Dragons rookie teammate Mikaele Ravalawa.

Marty Taupau will spearhead Samoa in their clash against Papua New Guinea on the same program.