The confusion over eligibility for this month's World Cup has deepened, with Tonga now denied the services of three players they planned to use in the tournament.
With Anthony Tupou already reclassified as Australian, the Tongans have been told that neither Fuifui Moimoi nor Taniela Tuiaki qualify for them, because they opted to play for New Zealand last year.
The Rugby League International Federation tried to explain the situation yesterday, without further damaging the credibility of the process. "Players who are eligible to play for more than one country must elect which country they will represent," a statement said. "A player is allowed only one application under this rule in any two-year period."
There has been some better news for Tonga, as they have been given permission to field Antonio Kaufusi and Louis Anderson, although Anderson has been ruled out by Warrington following surgery on a broken arm. Kaufusi has previously played for Australia and Anderson for New Zealand.
Just to complicate matters further, the New Zealand international half-back, Ben Roberts, has been cleared to play for Samoa and the Australian Test winger, Jarryd Hayne, for Fiji. They could lose him as quickly as they gained him, however, if he is called up by Australia as a replacement for Justin Hodges, who is a fitness doubt.
Ireland, who are in a demanding group with Tonga and Samoa, have lost a second Australian-based forward to injury. Already without Melbourne's Brett White with a foot injury, they have now been deprived of Shannon McDonnell of West Tigers because of a hamstring problem.
The Irish coach, Andy Kelly, angered by the short notice, has called up the former Hull forward, Shayne McMenemy, who is now playing in Western Australia, plus a player from the Irish domestic competition, Brendan Guilfoyle of the Treaty City Titans in Limerick.
Todd Carney's contract to play for Huddersfield next season is in doubt following a new incident which is being investigated by police in Australia and his failure so far to secure a work permit. Carney's alcohol problems saw him sacked by Canberra last season after a series of escapades.
Carney is banned from playing in Australia until 2010. He has been doing voluntary work in Rwanda as he tried to sort himself out, but was involved in an incident in which a shop window was smashed in his home town of Goulburn last week.
Huddersfield have signed another teenager from Bradford. Scott Farnsworth, a 16-year-old back-row forward, has followed the hooker, Keal Carlile, to the Galpharm Stadium, and will join the club's scholarship scheme.