Mate Ma'a coach Charles Tonga says Konrad Hurrell's decision to play for Tonga at the Rugby League World Cup is a huge boost for their campaign.
The blockbusting midfielder has been in top-form for the Warriors and was viewed as a likely selection in the Kiwis squad for the end of year tournament but has opted to align with his birth country.
The 21 year old has yet to play internationally and is entitled to make one election change in each World Cup cycle, so can play for Tonga this time around but switch to New Zealand next year if desired.
Charles Tonga says it's great news for the team.
"It's a massive boost mate for the game, even our people as well to see young talents come back. It was part of the vision when I started: I wanted to see young kids come back and represent their country, if they're not"
representing New Zealand or Australia mate so we are very blessed.
Tonga are in the same pool as Scotland and Italy at the World Cup.