Kiwis v Tonga: 'I'll be in the black jersey forever' – Kiwis shrug off suggestions of switch

The issue of international defection in rugby league reared its head again this week, after Martin Taupau and Jamayne Isaako chose to represent Samoa over New Zealand.

That's prompted questions for the current crop about whether they'd ever turn their backs on Kiwis.

Sporting a swollen and black eye from the weekend, Dalin Watene-Zelezniak's struggling to see. But one thing is crystal clear, he only wants to wear the black jersey.

"My great grandfather captained this team," said Watene-Zelezniak. "The legacy he set is one I want to live up to."

Watene-Zelezniak's elegible for Tonga, while Nelson Asofa-Solomona could represent Samoa.

Neither will be making the switch anytime soon.

"New Zealand gave my family a safe place to stay," Asofa-Solomona added. "In my mind, it's a good way to give back - to be in the black jumper.

"I'll be in the black jersey forever."

kiwis v tonga teams
Photo credit: Newshub.

The Tongan side on the weekend has nine former Kiwis and Kangaroos.

"You only get one chance in life to do what you want do and their hearts are saying go back to their heritage.

"They can do that but they have to live with that as well."

That combination of heart and heritage is sure to add to the occasion on Saturday.

Watch the full story above


Join us for live updates of Kiwis v Tonga from 5:40pm Saturday