THE World Cup eligibility of Manly centre Steve Matai remains a mystery after he failed to apply for dispensation to play for Samoa this Saturday.
Matai was touted as one of the NRL stars who was about to change allegiance and represent Steve Price’s Samoans against Tonga in the mid-season international at Centrebet Stadium.
But the Rugby League International Federation’s Tas Baitieri said the application never arrived. “There was a lot of paper talk but we didn’t hear from him,” said Baitieri.
Nine players succeeded in changing their country of election before the teams were picked. Brent Kite and Anthony Tupou moved from Australia to Tonga, FuiFui MoiMoi and Sika Manu from New Zealand to Tonga, while Jeff Lima, David Fa’alogo, Roy Asotasi, Junior Sau and Eddy Pettybourne move from New Zealand to Samoa.
The application of North Queensland winger Kalifa FaiFai Loa to move from New Zealand to Samoa was still being considered at the time RLW went to press.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK