Kiwi Coach David Kidwell admits Jason Taumalolo's defection to play for Tonga in the upcoming World Cup was a complete surprise and caught him off-guard.
Kidwell told the media during a fiery press conference, he hasn't yet spoken to Taumalolo.
“I haven’t had a conversation with Jason, a face-to-face or on the phone,” Kidwell said told the media.
“I think that’s the most disappointing thing, I respect his decision but I think a conversation between myself and him would have been a good thing to do.
"As far as we were concerned, Jason was part of our World Cup team and to find out two days out, that’s the disappointing thing, finding it out that late.
“We’ve made a number of phone calls, emails and texts ... you’ll have to have a conversation with Jason there."
There were reports Taumalolo's defection was in defiance of Kidwell suspending Jesse Bromwich and Kevin Procter for disciplinary issues, which if true disappoints Kidwell.
“Everyone’s going to have their own opinion (on it). We’re trying to build a new Kiwis spirit here and we’re not going to condone that behaviour,” he said.
New Zealand World Cup Squad
Nelson Asofa-Solomona, Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Kenny Bromwich, Addin Fonua-Blake, Peta Hiku, Shaun Johnson, Thomas Leuliuai, Danny Levi, Isaac Liu, Simon Mannering, Te Maire Martin, Jason Nightingale, Kodi Nikorima, Russell Packer, Jordan Rapana, Brad Takairangi, Joseph Tapine, Martin Taupau, Elijah Taylor, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Dean Whare