Martin Taupau pledges allegiance to Samoa after 24 Tests for New Zealand

Samoa have scored a big coup with Manly prop Martin Taupau pledging allegiance to the Pacific nation ahead of next week’s Test with Papua New Guinea.

Taupau was on Thursday named in New Zealand’s preliminary Test squad however on Friday took to social media to announce he had made himself available for Samoa.

“After hours of soul searching and plenty of discussion with my fiancee and family, I had to make a tough call to the NZ Kiwis coach Michael Maguire this morning to inform him that I have made the decision to make myself unavailable for selection for the NZ Kiwis, and elected to make myself available for the Toa Samoa team once again,” Taupau wrote.

The New Zealand-born Samoan has played 24 Tests for the Kiwis since running out for his solitary Samoan appearance in 2013.

But he said the pull to return had grown too strong to ignore.

“Those who know or follow me know that family, culture and heritage is everything to me,” he wrote.

“It is the core of who I am and what I do.

“It is the foundation that I have built on and I want my children and the next generation to recognise the greatness that lies within knowing who you are and where you come from.”

The Samoan squad is expected to be named on Sunday, with Anthony Milford, Tim Lafai, Christian Crichton, Isaiah Papali’i and Joey Leilua among the NRL players selected to play against Tonga last year.

Brisbane back-rower Jaydn Su’A has also indicated his desire to represent the Pacific nation against PNG at Leichhardt Oval.