News TPJ Withdraws from RLWC

foREVerA7X

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New Year’s Eve is still months away but the Canterbury Bulldogs’ hopes for 2023 have already been dealt a massive boost following the revelation that a star back-rower has decided to skip the World Cup and focus on ensuring he’s fully fit for the Belmore club come Round 1 next year.

The Daily Telegraph has revealed that Tevita Pangai Junior has informed Tongan national team coach Kristian Woolf of his decision to prioritise recovery and the Bulldogs over representing his nation in England – just 10 days after he was announced as a member of the extended 32-man squad.

It’s been a tough year for Pangai, who spent a spell in NSW Cup at the back-end of the season. But with new coach Cameron Ciraldo taking the reins for his first pre-season, Pangai has already expressed his determination to prove his worth to the new regime

"For (Ciraldo) to be appointed Canterbury coach is a dream come true," Pangai said.

"I've had some good coahes like JD (Jason Demetriou) and Wayne (Bennett), but he's the real deal.

"I know it all doesn't come down to the coach, I've got to do my part too. If I fail, that's on me, not 'Ciro'. The next two years are so important to me."

The Telegraph also reports that Bulldogs prop Raymond Faitala-Mariner has made a similar decision to focus on recovery and the NRL season ahead.

While Pangai would have formed part of an imposing pack including the likes of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita, his international team mates don’t hold any ill-will over the decision.

“There’s no ill-feeling towards Tevita, that’s not what this team is built on,” Fifita told the Telegraph.

“He’s made a call he believes will help his football at Canterbury and his career, you can’t begrudge anyone of that.”

Pangai is the second prop to rule himself out for Tonga in as many days, after young Wests Tigers star Stefano Utoikamanu ruled himself out for similar reasons after a prolonged recovery from a scaphoid injury.

“After the year I’ve had, I need to spend as much time as I can getting my strength back up. That’s my priority right now,” Utoikamanu said.

Tonga’s World Cup campaign kicks off on October 18 (local) against Papua New Guinea in St Helens. They are in Group D, which also includes Wales and the Cook Islands.
 

Zane Leask

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Lead by actions, not words. We saw these articles all last off season and saw poor results on the field.
 

dogon

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Thommo should also make himself unavailable for the World Cup because he missed about 12 weeks this year with concussion & has only managed 38 from a possible 72 games for the Dogs in 3 years.
 

D0GMATIC

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Suits me, we want him primed and ready to rip and tear next year
 

Phalangist

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That’s great now let’s see if he avoids boxing as an undercard for sbw, we don’t want him
Breaking his hand.
 

Dingo

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World Cup is a farcical way to end the season. Just hope he pulled out to concentrate on us and not on boxing against some nobody.
 

spscand

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TPJ is all talk. Loves a hype up. Not sold, needs to shut up and put in. We have one prop thats worthy next year, Max King. The rest have a lot to prove.
 

the_insider

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I doubt he would've made their best team anyway given their insane forward depth
 

Harry Oz

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With Vaughan gone, We will only have three 1st grade standard middle forwards. King, Thompson and TPJ.
There is a huge gap between King, Thompson, TPJ and the rest of the 2023 front row options.
In September 2023, when we look back at who helped us to make the finals, I reckon TPJ will be on the list
If however we're asking why we ended up in the bottom three. then TPJ not delivering, for whatever reason, will also be on the list.
That's why he's not going to the World Cup. He is the No1 variable.
2023 will be determined by whether we have two decent middle forwards, or three.
 

Zane Leask

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With Vaughan gone, We will only have three 1st grade standard middle forwards. King, Thompson and TPJ.
There is a huge gap between King, Thompson, TPJ and the rest of the 2023 front row options.
In September 2023, when we look back at who helped us to make the finals, I reckon TPJ will be on the list
If however we're asking why we ended up in the bottom three. then TPJ not delivering, for whatever reason, will also be on the list.
That's why he's not going to the World Cup. He is the No1 variable.
2023 will be determined by whether we have two decent middle forwards, or three.
Love the optimism but if Flanagan is our 7, we won’t be playing finals.
 

Phalangist

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What I’m hearing is that Tevita Pangai Jr., may in fact be on the undercard of that fight (Sonny Bill Williams vs Mark Hunt), he may be putting on the gloves for the first time,” Proszenko said SEN 1170 Afternoons.
 

Phalangist

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What I’m hearing is that Tevita Pangai Jr., may in fact be on the undercard of that fight (Sonny Bill Williams vs Mark Hunt), he may be putting on the gloves for the first time,” Proszenko said SEN 1170 Afternoons.
I knew there was another reason behind him pulling out… sbw can only be bad for him
 
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