Cowboys duo named in 24-man Tongan squad

North Queensland Toyota Cowboys duo Jason Taumalolo and John Asiata have been named in a star-studded 24-man Tonga squad in the lead up to next weekend’s blockbuster clash with New Zealand at Mt Smart Stadium.

Taumalolo will make his 11th appearance for the Mate Ma’a and leads a powerhouse forward pack including Roosters star Sio Siua Taukeiaho, Sharks enforcer Andrew Fifita and Broncos wrecking ball Tevita Pangai.

The 26-year-old has been in scintillating form for the Cowboys in 2019, averaging an enormous 212 running metres per game, 32 more than any other player in the NRL.

Asiata has previously made two appearances for Samoa, but made the decision to pledge his allegiance to Tonga and will make his debut for the Mate Ma’a if selected for the battle with the Kiwis.

The skillful big-man made his name as a middle forward in the NRL, but has also thrived in the halves for the Cowboys this season.

Tonga squad

In alphabetical order

John Asiata (North Queensland Cowboys)
Manase Fainu (Manly Sea Eagles)
Andrew Fifita (Cronulla Sharks)
Addin Fonua-Blake (Manly Sea Eagles)
Moeaki Fotuaika (Gold Coast Titans)
David Fusi'tua (New Zealand Warriors)
Siliva Havili (Canberra Raiders)
Tuimoala Lolohea (Leeds Rhinos)
Will Hopoate (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Michael Jennings (Parramatta Eels)
Robert Jennings (Wests Tigers)
Solomone Kata (New Zealand Warriors)
Sione Katoa (Penrith Panthers)
Manu Ma'u (Parramatta Eels)
Tevita Pangai jnr (Brisbane Broncos)
Kotoni Staggs (Brisbane Broncos)
Tevita Tatola (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Siosiua Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters)
Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels)
Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)
Sitili Tupouniua (Sydney Roosters)