Rugby: Malakai Fekitoa eyes switch of test allegiance from New Zealand to Tonga

Former All Black Malakai Fekitoa will move closer to a Tonga test appearance, when he represents his birth nation at the Olympic sevens qualifying tournament at Monaco next weekend.

Under IRB rules, to represent a second nation, a player must serve three years out of test rugby, hold a passport for their second country and participate in Olympic sevens qualifying to gain eligibility at all levels.

Fekitoa, 29, already meets the first two criteria, and will link with his new teammates, after Wasps end their English Premiership season against Leicester Tigers this weekend.

The midfielder played 24 tests for New Zealand, but last represented the All Blacks in 2017.

Fekitoa isn't the only international using the tournament to change allegiance. 

Ex-Wallabies flanker Lopeti Timani will join him in the Tonga squad, as well as sevens internationals Afusipa Taumopeau (Australia) and Tima Fainga'anuku (New Zealand) - brother of All Blacks contender Leicester.

Fekitoa must play in half of Tonga's matches at the Monaco event to become eligible for the 'Ikale Tahi at test level, including the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Former All Black Charles Piutau was another considering a switch to Tonga, but will miss the tournament, with his Bristol Bears guaranteed an English Premiership playoff spot.