Jason Taumalolo: I'll retire from international football if issues with Mate Ma'a Tonga aren't resolved

Jason Taumalolo is prepared to retire from international football if the dispute between Mate Ma'a Tonga players and the national board cannot be resolved.

The former Kiwis star and Cronulla's Andrew Fifita have led a Tongan player revolt, threatening to boycott next month's World Cup Nines and the end of year tests against Great Britain and Australia after coach Kristian Woolf was sacked.

The players want Tongan Rugby League chairman George Koloamatangi and secretary William Edwards ousted and Woolf reinstated after Frank Endacott was named as their new coach.

While Taumalolo is eligible to switch back to New Zealand, who he famously turned his back on ahead of the 2017 World Cup, the Cowboys wrecking ball said it was Tonga or nothing.

The New Zealand Rugby League has also stated that they are committed to working with the incumbent Kiwis, even if Tongan players expressed an interest in returning.

"I'm sticking solid with the red and white and if that doesn't work I guess I might have to retire [from] international football," Taumalolo told NRL.com after winning his fourth-consecutive Paul Bowman Medal for North Queensland's player of the year.

"Hopefully it doesn't come to that... I'd still love to play for Tonga and play alongside some of the great players that have represented in the last few years.

"But if that doesn't work out and we can't come to an agreement, I'll eventually retire from international football."

Taumalolo has maintained his fitness after the Cowboys missed out on the finals and remained hopeful of finding a resolution.

However, the 26-year-old gave no guarantees.

"We haven't come to a solution yet, that will be the next thing I have got to deal with," he said. "But I am still training and doing my best to stay fit in case things change.

"I will do my part and try and get this all sorted, as much as I can control. Hopefully it is all sorted before the Nines and the tests at the end of the year."

Endacott was a surprise choice as Tonga coach last week.

While he has previously been in charge of the Kiwis, Warriors and Wigan, he hasn't coached at the elite level in 15 years and Fifita has already expressed reservations about his appointment.

The Tongan players are fiercely loyal to Woolf, who played an integral role in convincing the likes of Taumalolo and Fifita to play for the Pacific nation and transforming them into a genuine test force.

Woolf was recently appointed coach of UK Super League club St Helens but Taumalolo believes he could still be involved in the Tongan set-up.

"[Woolf's departure] is going to send some shockwaves throughout the playing roster but I'm sure at some point we can get him back on board and get the players back playing."