Ospreys prop Ma’afu FIA is currently expecting to end a very long wait for a first cap for Tonga on Saturday against Wales.
The 27-year-old was among five star players that featured in the 49-38 Tonga win over French Barbarians.
“I’ve been meaning to (bid for selection) to the previous three decades but bad timing and injuries got in the way,” he said.
Wales have won all eight encounters between the two countries, most recently by 24-6 at Auckland at 2017.
FIA’s narrative illustrates the difficulties encountered in raising a full-strength side, using their players being spread between England, France, Wales and New Zealand.
Raising a young family in Europe, far from New Zealand or his birthplace where he had been educated, has previously made it impossible for him to commit to away time with his nation.
He could make a debut facing a number of the Ospreys team-mates in the Principality Stadium.
“It would be good to eventually win a cap, but Evaluation level Rugby is a different monster.
“Wales play somewhat differently to the Ospreys, therefore the (Ospreys) boys will change their game to fit the structure and game plans,” said FIA.
“Wales at home is going to be challenging.
“We are just looking to build on what the coaches and team have done for the previous two years when there’s been quite a little improvement.”
Tonga will confront Argentina, France, England and United States at Pool C.