Former Chiefs winger Toni Pulu has turned his back on representing Tonga and will now chase a Wallabies jersey after signing a two-year deal with the Brumbies.
The 28 year old was born in the United States and has lived in New Zealand since the age of three but also holds an Australian passport through his mother.
In May, ‘Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu said Pulu had expressed a desire to play test rugby for Tonga, who he also qualifies for, but this week confirmed the Canberra-bound flyer now intends to commit his international future to Australia.
Toni Pulu previously represented Niue in sevens but was later ruled ineligible for the Pacific nation.
A World Rugby spokesperson said no special dispensation was needed or granted for Pulu to make himself available for Australia.
“While a 2014 World Rugby Regulations Committee hearing determined that a breach of Regulation 8 had occurred as Pulu was not eligible for Niue, under the regulation as it was at the time, it was the union, not the player, who was culpable for any breach.
“The union was therefore sanctioned and the player deemed not to be captured by Niue. The regulation has since been reformed to apply joint culpability for union and player, but it is not retrospectively applied.”
World Rugby said, subject to meeting eligibility criteria set out in Regulation 8, Toni Pulu is free to represent any nation for which he has a close and credible link.