Kristian Woolf has admitted he would be keen to resume his role with Tonga despite taking on the St Helens coaching job.
Woolf was unveiled to the British media on Tuesday and confirmed he would still be keen to remain involved.
However, he said he would only do so if it wasn’t at the detriment of his aspirations with the Super League champions.
“I’ve had numerous conversations with the club about that,” Woolf confirmed.
“There’s an opportunity there to remain involved but I’ve got to settle into my role here and make sure that doesn’t interfere with anything I do here. There’s a level of expectation here that we perform at a certain level and any involvement with Tonga can’t interfere with that.
“Those June Tests are something we need to have a look at, but at the end of the year it doesn’t interfere at all and it’s something I want to remain involved with.”
In a response that will no doubt prick up the ears of Saints fans, Woolf also admitted he would be keen to recruit members of the Tongan side that defeated Great Britain and Australia.
“I’d love to get a couple over if the opportunity arose for the club or for them,” he said.
“But the thing is as Tonga gets stronger and gets a bigger presence in the game in general, some of the players are the best in their positions in the world, and that makes them hard to get hold of. If the opportunity arose I’d love to bring some of them over, but it has to fit for the club and for them.”