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Tonga have ‘massive X-factor’ for World Cup, says coach

AFP – Three former Wallabies and five All Blacks make Tonga’s squad its best ever and will give the Pacific nation a “massive X-factor” at the Rugby World Cup, coach Toutai Kefu has said.

Kefu has made the most of World Rugby rules that allow a capped player to switch allegiance to another eligible country following a three-year cooling-off period.

It has seen ex-Wallabies Israel Folau, Adam Coleman and Lopeti Timani make the move to Tonga.

They have been joined by former All Blacks Charles Piutau, Vaea Fifita, Malakai Fekitoa, George Moala and Augustine Pulu.

All were included in Tonga’s squad named on Wednesday for July Tests against Fiji and Japan in the build-up to the World Cup in France in September.

“This is obviously a different class of side compared to teams we have had in the past and what it enables us to do, it provides us with some massive X-factor,” Kefu, a former Wallabies number eight, told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“It was pretty easy, to tell you the truth – they were all pretty keen to play for Tonga.”

Coach Toutai Kefu