Huddersfield Giants forward Ukuma Ta'ai named in Tonga World Cup squad
Last Updated: 08/10/13 11:29am
Ukuma Ta'ai in action for Huddersfield Giants
Huddersfield Giants forward Ukuma Ta'ai has landed a place in Tonga's World Cup squad on the back of an impressive debut Super League season.
The former New Zealand Warrior helped Huddersfield finish top of the regular season standings for the first time in 81 years.
And Ta'ai is now one of three Super League-based players named in a 24-strong squad.
He is joined by prop Mickey Paea, who is moving across the city from Hull KR to Hull next season, and St Helens second rower Willie Manu.
Manly Sea Eagles' Penrith-bound prop Brent Kite has been confirmed as captain, while just one player from the nation's domestic competition has been selected by coaches Charles Tonga and Kristian Woolf.
Former Hull prop Sam Moa is unavailable after he was called up by New Zealand and Canterbury Bulldogs forward Tony Williams is ruled out by injury.
But there are 11 NRL regulars involved, including wingers Jorge Taufua and Daniel Tupou, Parramatta front-rower Fuifui Moimoi and Penrith back-rower Sika Manu.
"We are fortunate to have many young guys willing to represent the nation," said Tonga.
"We are doing this for our people, to give back to our country."
The squad will arrive in England on 18 October after spending nine days in a training camp in Tonga and New Zealand.
They open their World Cup campaign against Scotland at Workington on 29 October.
Tonga: B Kite (capt), S Feki, N Mataitonga, P Politoni, Jorge Taufua, M Fonua, S Vave, S Likiliki, J Taumalolo, F Moimoi, P Terepo, S Manu, D Foster, S Langi, N Seluini, D Tupou, G Fisiiahi, S Havili, K Hurrell, B Murdoch-Masila, U Ta'ai, M Paea, W Manu, S Havea.