Wellington - Auckland-born Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna is set to end his bid to play for the All Blacks after he was selected to represent Tonga, New Zealand media reported on Wednesday.
The 140kg tighthead, who is of Tongan heritage, had been on the fringes of All Blacks selection for some time and even earned a call up to New Zealand's training squad last year.
However, the 23-year-old prop's international future appears to have been settled when he was named in Tonga's squad for Tests against Georgia, the United States and Scotland, Fairfax Media reported, citing the team's high performance manager.
Tameifuna was to meet Chiefs and New Zealand Rugby Union officials on Thursday to discuss gaining a release for the Tonga tour, TVNZ said on its website.
"They can't stop him from playing for us but we just want to make sure that things go smoothly for him in New Zealand as well," Tonga high performance manager Peter Harding told New Zealand's ONE News.
Tameifuna's season with Chiefs ended badly last month when he was suspended for five weeks for pushing a referee out of his way during a provincial championship match.
The prop's uncle Sona Taumalolo also represented the Chiefs in Super Rugby and Tonga internationally.