John Hopoate's plea to Kangaroos stars over Samoa heritage dilemma

Stronger together. That's the message from former rugby league international John Hopoate, who has implored more players of Samoa heritage to turn out for the national side in the wake of their disappointing Pacific Championship campaign.

The Pacific Island nation lost 38-12 to Australia before being thumped 50-0 by New Zealand – just a year after making the World Cup final. Hopoate, who played for Australia and Tonga, remains passionate about the Pasifika cause and is saddened by Samoa's abrupt demise.

Posting photos of players who opted to play for Samoa over Australia, including Penrith grand final heroes Stephen Crichton and Brian To'o along with Parramatta enforcer Junior Paulo, Hoppa challenged other NRL stars to join the crusade.

Gold Coast hardman Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Brisbane powerhouse Payne Haas and Cowboys flyer Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow are among those who are eligible to switch camps from Australia to Samoa.

Hopoate believes a full-strength Samoa would be almost unstoppable. "All the Samoan Boys need to do what these boys (Crichton, To'o, Paulo) are doing and repping where they come from," Hopoate wrote.

"These guys get paid good from their clubs and have chosen cultural over money when it comes to international footy. (There) were 7 Samoans in the NZ Squad and 4 for Australia. Imagine how good their team would be if they all came back, they would be VERY HARD to beat.

"So, all (those) Samoan Boys need to come back to make international footy grow - maybe NZ can keep Asofa Solomona cause I don’t think they want you (lol) but the rest can come. We need you guys with us so we can grow the game and showcase to the world that we can be a force to be reckon with.