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Woolf: "There is a bit of truth to it"

Newcastle Knights assistant coach and Tonga head coach Kristian Woolf said there have been efforts made to lure some of his New Zealand born Tongan players back to the Kiwis.

And it’s not just the New Zealanders but Aussies as well.

“There is a bit of truth to it," said Woolf.

While there’s threats from every angle to grab some of his men, Woolf isn’t too phased about the possibility.

“It’s not something I’m bothered by because it shows the talent we have got and some of the emerging talent,” said Woolf.

“It happens when you’ve got some of the best players in the world.

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“It’s like when Felise Kaufusi went over to Australia; we’ve always been able to fill that spot because we’ve got so many good blokes coming through.”

Woolf secure in his players commitment to Tonga.

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“There is a lure there but one thing with all those players, their long-term future certainly lies with Tonga and that commitment hasn’t wavered at all,” Woolf explained.

There’s also plenty of encouragement for Tongan players to play State of Origin as well.

Tevita Pangai jnr is one who may have to make that decision.

If selected, will he put on the blues jersey or red for his country in the Oceania Cup in June.

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“For a guy like Tevita this is some will to play Origin,” Woolf added.

“It’s up to him as to whether he wants to do that this year or whether it is something he wants to do down the track.

“I’ll leave that up to him to make that decision and to make that public.”