20 Apr 2013

Sport: Panthers prop Brent Kite comes full circle for Tonga

9:14 am on 20 April 2013

Tonga rugby league captain Brent Kite says the team has come a long way in the last 13 years.

The Penrith Panthers prop will resume his Mate Ma'a career tonight in the Pacific Test against Samoa in Sydney, having last pulled on the red jersey as a teenager at the 2000 World Cup.

Since then he's won and NRL Premiership, played in State of Origin for New South Wales and represented Australia.

Kite joins fellow big-name recruits Fuifui Moimoi, Anthony Tupou and Sika Manu in the Tongan line-up and says a lot has changed since his test debut.

"We had a handful of first graders last time around and now we look at the team and pretty much everyone is playing first grade or one two Toyota Cup, which is a good level of footy, so that would be the main one. Charlie Tonga's done a great job in pulling the great stars together. It's a very professional outfit and it had to be that way to get NRL clubs to release the guys so hopefully we can translate that into a good game."

Brent Kite.