“Representing your heritage and where you’re from, representing your parents is something that is quite close to not only myself, but to many other Polynesians,” Folau says.
“It would be a huge honour, if I got the opportunity. We’ll see if that opportunity comes about, but I’d love to put the Tongan jersey on and represent Tonga.”
Tonga coach Toutai Kefu has already said Folau looms as part of his plans for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, if he’s available.
Folau returned to rugby league with French club Catalans Dragons and a brief stint with Australian amateur side Southport Tigers, backed by billionaire Clive Palmer, but is now back in rugby union, playing for NTT Shining Arcs in Japan’s Top League.
While the door to an Australian return is firmly shut, Folau can play for Tonga, the nation of his heritage, thanks to World Rugby’s eligibility changes last year.
After a 36-month stand-down, a player can now represent a second test nation, provided they were born in, or have a parent or grandparent born in that nation.metasports