11 Oct 2008

Tonga's Rugby League World Cup hit by ineligibility

8:38 am on 11 October 2008

Tonga's hopes have been dealt another major blow with Parramatta's Fuifui Moimoi and the Wests Tigers' Taniela Tuiaki both ruled ineligible for the Rugby League World Cup.

The Rugby League International Federation says the pair could not play for Tonga because they had played for New Zealand last year.

The Cup organisers say RLIF rules allow only one application to change allegiance in any two years and Moimoi and Tuiaki had both used that already to switch from Tonga to the Kiwis for the 2007 tour of England and France.

The announcement comes a day after Tonga lost forward Anthony Tupou to Australia.

Tupou had been named in the Tongan squad after originally being overlooked by the Kangaroos but an injury to Michael Crocker resulted in him being recalled by Australia.