KRISTIAN Woolf has now swapped his Saints hat for Tonga - and is now urging the people of St Helens to do likewise and back the team who will be based in town for the duration of the World Cup.

Tonga's 24-man squad boasts a pair of Saints in Konrad Hurrell and Will Hopoate - and apart from Huddersfield's Tui Lolohea, the remainder is made up of top-drawer NRL talent.

The squad will be training in St Helens and taking part in community visits - something that can make a real impact. 

Saints have five players in the England team - and they could come face to face with Woolf's Tonga in the knockout stages, but the men in red are a good second team for townsfolk to adopt.

Woolf said: "I would 100 per cent urge the people of St Helens to adopt Tonga for the World Cup, whether it is because of my own involvement, the fact that we are going to be based in St Helens and doing community work and having the likes of Koni and Will in the squad.

"It is a great opportunity for the people of St Helens to come and see and meet players like Jason Taumalolo, Addin Fonua-Blake, Siosiua Taukeiaho, David Fifita, Daniel Tupou  – the list goes on.

St Helens Star: Kristian Woolf and Jason TaumaloloKristian Woolf and Jason Taumalolo (Image: Kristian Woolf and Jason Taumalolo)

"There's so many names I can rattle off and these are players that people get to watch on TV in State of Origin and internationals – some of the biggest stars in the NRL.

"I'd implore the fans to come down and support those guys."

Woolf believes there's a natural affinity between the people of St Helens and the islanders.

"As you see with the Tongan guys we have at this club, they are great people and they play a great brand of rugby league and want to entertain," Woolf said.

"There’s a great correlation between a working class town like St Helens and a working class country like Tonga.

"There’s a great connection there and I would encourage people to come down and support Tonga."

Tonga play two games at the TWS - against Papua New Guinea and Wales.

Italy are also based in the town - and they play one game at Saints against Mal Meninga's Australia.