Charles Piutau’s Rugby World Cup dream has been ended for a second time.
The former All Black had desperately wanted to represent Tonga at next year’s global showpiece but Stuff can reveal that those hopes have been shattered.
“It got ruled out a couple of months ago,” disappointed Tonga coach Toutai Kefu told Stuff. “We were actively exploring a group of players, not just Charles, that were in the same boat and whether we could qualify them before the World Cup, and we can’t.
“First of all they’ve got to sit out three years, which Charles has, and a group of other guys have.
“The next process is we have to qualify them in an Olympic qualifying Sevens tournament and the only one that’s available to us is after the World Cup.
“We looked into trying to move that tournament to before the World Cup and were unsuccessful in doing that.”