The phone call Dunamis Lui made to put club over country will remain one of the toughest of his career but he hopes it can help the Canberra Raiders ignite a premiership bid.
Injury forced the Raiders front-rower to withdraw from the Samoan side to play Papua New Guinea in the Pacific Test at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night.
Lui is the latest Raider to be made unavailable for representative duties this week, joining New Zealand duo Jordan Rapana and Joe Tapine as well as Cook Islands fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad on the list of withdrawals.
The quartet have all withdrawn to manage niggling injuries with Canberra coach Ricky Stuart adamant "the club comes first" as the Raiders battle a frustrating injury toll.
"I spoke to [Samoa coach] Matt Parish over the past couple of weeks and he had said I was in there. With the way I pulled up last week, my whole left side of my body is really sore," Lui said.
"My ankle, my wrist, my shoulder. I pretty much got ruled out straight after our game [against Cronulla] last week.
"I had to give him the call on Friday morning, it was a bit disappointing. It would have been nice to be in there playing this week, but I've got to look after myself first.
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"We're in a good spot here with the club, so right now, we've got big things ahead with this team and I'm just looking after myself and playing good footy here at the Raiders more importantly."
Siliva Havili has been cleared to play for Tonga, joining Jack Wighton [NSW Blues] and Josh Papalii [Queensland Maroons] as the only front-line Raiders on show this weekend.
Lui would have relished the chance to build on his five Tests for Samoa had he not pulled up lame last week.
The 29-year-old is on track to post near-career best numbers having averaged 80.9 running metres per game with a tackle efficiency of 89.5 per cent through 14 games this season.
Lui concedes "I don't really like talking about myself that much", but he knows just what sparked his solid run of form.
"I reckon I put it down to just how many years I've played in the game," Lui said.
"There's been a lot of talk this year about me starting and how good I've been going, but it all started last year, playing every game last year and working my way back [after coming back from an anterior cruciate ligament tear].
"I still reckon there's a lot of improvement there, it's a bit cliche because everyone says it, but I truly believe it. Together here with the team, everyone thinks we've got a lot of improvement in us team-wise.
"I'm just happy to be playing. I've said my whole career, whether I'm starting or on the bench, I'm just happy to do whatever," Lui said.
"I've been really stoked with the way I have been going lately, and hopefully I can keep it up."
An extra week off for Canberra's would-be representative players comes at a vital time for the Green Machine as they enter the second half of the season sitting in the top four.
The Raiders can see the light at the end of the tunnel in their injury crisis with co-captain Josh Hodgson's looming return set to be a massive boost to the top four hopefuls.
Club medical staff will assess Hodgson's thumb, Corey Horsburgh's elbow, Nicoll-Klokstad's hamstring and the knee of one-time NSW Blue Nick Cotric over the coming week.
Should they all be cleared, the Raiders will be close to full strength with Hodgson set to steer the ship.
"He's a world class player, probably one of the best in the world in fact," Hodgson's fellow Englishman John Bateman said.
"Him coming back over the next couple of weeks, hopefully against Parramatta, is going to be fantastic for us. It moves Liva [Havili] back into the pack and strengthens the pack up for us."
Raiders centre Joey Leilua has returned to light gym training but his neck surgery is likely to be season-ending, leaving suspended back-rower Hudson Young as the lone front-liner the club is still waiting on.
Young is free to return in round 19 for a road trip to Penrith following his five-game ban for an eye gouge - and he will come back into a side Bateman believes can "definitely" bring home the club's first premiership since 1994.
"We've had a blip every now and then but we're bouncing back and getting in those grinds and winning games that championship-winning teams win," Bateman said.