The 28-year-old, who played five tests for the Cook Islands national team, scoring one try, was one of the five rookies named in David Kidwell’s Kiwi’s squad earlier this month.
Takairangi was given the go ahead after starter Dean Whare tweaked his ankle while training in the lead up to the team’s first match against Samoa tonight.
The 125 game NRL veteran, who has donned jerseys for the Roosters, Tigers and his current club the Parramatta Eels, brings a steading presence to the midfield. By no means a game-breaker, Takairangi will be relied upon to make tackles and set up fellow Cook Islander Jordan Rapana, who will feast on any space that his inside compatriot can provide for him.
Being called up to the squad was a dream come true for Takairangi, who was previously involved in Kiwi’s camps, but never got on the field.
"It's just huge for me, at the start of the year it was a goal of mine to be in the World Cup squad and now that I'm here, I want to make every day count," said Takairangi to Newshub.
"I'm looking forward to doing a good job and representing this black jumper."
Meanwhile, another Cook Islander, Valentine Holmes, will hope to play a starring role on the wing for the Kangaroos, who played against England last night.