Despite being named in the Mate Ma'a Tonga squad, Parramatta Eels forward Kelepi Tanginoa will skip the 2013 World Cup in favour of focussing on recovery from his ankle injury.


The 2013 Rookie of the Year says withdrawing from the squad is a disappointment, but a necessary one.


"At the moment I'll be staying right here and just trying to do a lot of rehab," Tanginoa said.


"Hopefully next week I start running again but it take couple of weeks to get going again. I'm just doing a lot of physio to get my strength back up in my right leg."


But the vital step of removing the moon boot he's worn for the last 12 weeks has provided a boost for Tanginoa as he continues to work towards full fitness.


"I've been in that moon boot for three months and it's a relief to be out of it. I feel excited!"





And with his moon boot finally off, Tanginoa joined his Tongan teammates, including Peni Terepo, Fuifui Moimoi and Taniela Lasalo, at Centrebet Stadium in Penrith for a training session with national coach Charles Tonga.


The gathering was the first chance for the new members of the squad to meet their potential teammates as they prepare for a possible trip to England and Wales to represent Mate Ma'a tonga in the World Cup at the end of October.


"It was buzzing," Tanginoa said.


"The boys they all like to hang around each other, and it was good fun for me and Fui just going there and supporting the Tongan team."


"They just need to go hard and hopefully they'll bring the cup back!"