Konrad Hurrell

Choosing your allegiance as an NRL player is a tough decision, especially when you have strong ties to both countries – and for New Zealand Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell, he finds himself in that very predicament.

Torn between playing for his birth nation of Tonga or representing New Zealand, whom he has signed a letter of intent with, Hurrell admits that the decision is a difficult one and he is still 50/50 on it.

“At the moment, it’s still 50-50,” Hurrell said.

“Before, I always thought it would be the Kiwis, but it’s pretty hard at the moment.

“To get myself there [in either team], I just have to work hard on the field. At the moment, it’s 50-50. I still want to make a team to play in the World Cup – but at the moment, it’s hard to choose.”

The 21-year old was raised in Tonga and burst onto the scene last year, bulldozing opposition defenders and scoring 12 tries in his first 17 games for the club.

The potential to swing his decision in favour of Tonga, may come in the fact that with the likes of Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Simon Mannering, Dean Whare and Krisnan Inu in front of him in the pecking order, he is more likely to get a start with Tonga.

“I always wanted to represent my country, but you come here [to New Zealand] for a reason, and that is to develop yourself from where you were before,” he said.

“I want to take my time, and make sure I don’t regret my decision.”

Hurrell’s tough decision comes after the news that Manly centre Steve Matai will represent Tonga – with many former New Zealand internationals able and willing to represent the Pacific nations.

“From what I’ve heard, there’ll be no weak sides at the World Cup,” he said.

“It’s good that more and more people are going back to their original countries to help them. I’d certainly be looking forward to it if I made it. It would be my first World Cup ever – league or union – so fingers crossed I can make a team.”

By ricky

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