MANLY veteran Steve Matai has revealed he’s planning to end a six-year exile from Test football to make an international comeback at the 2017 World Cup.
Matai hasn’t worn a national jumper since lining up for New Zealand in the 2010 Anzac Test.
He’s played 10 games overall for the Kiwis but withdrew his availability permanently following the birth of his first child.
“I’ve turned New Zealand down because the idea of camp, of being away from my boys, it doesn’t appeal to me,” Matai told The Daily Telegraph in 2014 of his decision.
But he’s told foxsports.com.au he has been in talks with Toa Samoa coaching staff over the possibility of representing his parents’ birth country.
Manly centre Steve Matai.Source: News Corp Australia
Although he was born and grew up in Auckland and has already represented New Zealand, Matai qualifies for Samoa through RLIF eligibility laws.
He had hoped to pull on the Samoan jumper at the 2013 World Cup, but a broken wrist in the grand final loss to the Roosters thwarted his ambition.
Four years later Matai is keen to have another crack.
“I’ve spoken to (fitness coach) Donny Singe, I think he’s taking the Samoan side at the end of the year,” Matai said.