The Tongan team culture that wouldn't suit any other sporting team

It's a culture that Jason Taumalolo admits wouldn't work at club level, in an Origin camp or with any other sports team in the world.

Spearheaded by known-larrikins Andrew Fifita and Konrad Hurrell, the pair were already launching a plan on how to initiate Rabbitohs debutants Robert Jennings and Junior Tatola into the squad, only hours after greeting them in camp.

As NRL.com spent the day with the Tongan side in the lead-up to their clash with Samoa on Saturday, the pranks were in full swing – capped off by Sio Taukeiaho's late arrival into camp.

The Roosters forward delayed the team photo following the birth of his second child.

When he did arrive, the Tongan squad gathered to create a tunnel. Taukeiaho got down on his knees and crawled through the group as each player whacked his backside for either being late or welcoming him into camp – it depends how you look at it.

"The boys have picked up where they left off at the World Cup, still immature and playing their usual jokes on each other," Taumalolo grinned as he spoke to NRL.com.

"But it works for us and it's a fun camp to be a part of. In club footy for a lot of the guys the environment is completely different and that's what I enjoy the most about this experience."

It's an environment that has refreshed Taumalolo after a dismal season at the Cowboys.

Despite his own consistent numbers this year, North Queensland face the prospect of missing the finals for the first time since in eight years and the 26-year-old admitted it wasn't a fun place to be.

"Everyone's mood is different here, it's relaxed," Taumalolo said of Tongan camp.

"You don't get that environment at club footy. You get stuck in club footy for so long and then you have the chance to break it up around new players and it can be really refreshing.

"I use it to my advantage and try to make the most of it."

The Tongan team at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
The Tongan team at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. ©NRL Photos

Taumalolo's name has been constantly in the spotlight since choosing Tonga over New Zealand days out from the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

He backed up a decision to re-commit to Tonga last week, but wouldn't expand on any game further than the Pacific Test on Saturday.

"I made a commitment to the boys I would play in the May Test and I think that made a few of the boys' decisions a lot easier," Taumalolo said.

"A few of the boys have been having a tough time with talk they could be playing Origin or for New Zealand, but they recommitted too. That has stood out the most for me."

Tonga will play Samoa in Campbelltown buoyed by a 32-18 victory over their rivals in Hamilton last year.

"We've had this rivalry for so long now is something for everyone to be excited about," Taumalolo said.

"I played out there in the 2013 World Cup and that game was a full house. To see how many Tongans are out this way, we want them to turn up in numbers. All I want to see is red."

Get your tickets to Saturday's Pacific Tests at Campbelltown Sports Stadium