New Zealand rugby league captain Adam Blair has launched a withering attack on Jason Taumalolo for what he says was a betrayal of the national jersey.
Blair also accused Taumalolo of not being "man enough" to tell Kiwis coach David Kidwell of his plans to switch allegiance to Tonga for rugby league's World Cup.
Blair said their switch was "shattering" because of his pride in the Kiwis jersey.
The 41‑Test veteran said Taumalolo's failure to front teammates and management well in advance was unacceptable.
Blair refused to believe a written statement from Taumalolo, in which the 24‑year‑old said he wanted to help Tongan rugby league.
Nor did he accept media reports that Taumalolo and others are unhappy at the World Cup ban placed on former captain Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor for disciplinary reasons.
The Daily Telegraph reported earlier that the North Queensland Cowboys forward, Jason Taumalolo withdrew from the Kiwis following decision‑based around Kiwis coach David Kidwell not allowing star forwards Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Proctor to play at the World Cup following their disciplinary issues after this year's Anzac test in Canberra in May.
Meanwhile, the final Vodafone Fiji Bati squad will be announced after the Battle of the Bati at 3 this afternoon at the ANZ Stadium.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.