Tonga rugby

‘We’d welcome him with open arms’: Folau ‘keen’ on remarkable Rugby World Cup comeback

The World Rugby Council will meet on November 24 to vote on a proposal to allow players to represent a second nation.

World Rugby officials want Pacific island nations to be strengthened by being able to pick homegrown players who have made their Test debuts for other countries.

Folau has not played rugby union since he was sacked by Rugby Australia in 2019 following a controversial social media post.

The 32-year-old played for French rugby league outfit the Catalans last year but is on the cusp of a union comeback in Japanese rugby.

Louis Lynagh added to England squad ahead of Tonga test

Lynagh, the son of Australia great Michael Lynagh, was selected in an extended training group for the first time in September but was then jettisoned when Eddie Jones reduced his group for the Tests at Twickenham to 34 players.

The 20-year-old’s inclusion comes after the Wallabies last week expressed an interest in securing his national allegiance, while he is also qualified to play for Italy.

'It is sad' - Hopes Kefu will make Tonga tour as All Black welcomed onboard

Kefu’s wife remains in hospital with a serious wound to her arm but the former Australian World Cup winner has been released along with his son and daughter who were also injured in the machete and knife attack by four teenage robbers who now face various charges, including attempted murder. Kefu has revealed the impact of the horrific incident saying: “You know at times, there’s outbursts of crying. I think the first step for us is just getting back to the house and then we take it day-by-day. The kids seem to be OK, but they still need to be monitored probably moving forward.

Latest on stab victim Toutai Kefu

Tonga’s 47-year-old head coach, who played 60 Tests for the Wallabies and was part of their 1999 World Cup win, was rushed to hospital with his wife and two of his children earlier this week.

The trio were reported to be injured when confronting three intruders at their Brisbane home in what local police later described as a bungled burglary attempt.

Police allege the trio were armed with knives, a machete and an axe, all of which were used during the attack.

All Black great believes NRL has the best model for Pasifika talent

Discussing the issue on Sky Sport’s The Breakdown, former All Black great John Kirwan highlighted the central contracting system in New Zealand creates a disincentive for Pacific Island players from representing their home nations.

He compared New Zealand Rugby’s [NZR] contracting system to that of the NRL, which has removed conflict of interest from the equation with a separation of club and national control.

Kirwan suggested that if Super Rugby clubs could fund the majority of a player’s wages, they may be in a position to represent their home nation, such as Tonga.

New Zealand Rugby confirms Pasifika July, with All Blacks to meet Fiji and Tonga

In the end the compromise, with its Pacific cultural twist, was the best that could be managed after Italy withdrew from its scheduled two-test tour of New Zealand because of concerns and difficulties around travelling under Covid-19 protocols.

The All Blacks will meet Tonga and Fiji (twice) in their three July tests over the first three Saturdays of the month, while the Maori will also line up against Samoa in what should be a high-interest, and historic, double-header at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium on July 3.

Pacific 7s teams to feature in Olympic preparation tournament

Takiwhitu Tūturu will feature eight men's and women's teams playing across two days at Hataitai Park.

The Tonga and Samoa Invitational sides will take part in the men's tournament alongside two All Blacks Sevens teams, while a Moana Pasifika squad will feature in the women's competition with two Black Ferns Sevens teams and a Black Ferns 15-a-side selection.

The Tongan squad was based in Auckland and would travel down to Wellington with head coach Tevita Tu'ifua on Tuesday.

Fekitoa has his say on speculation linking him and Charles Piutau to Tonga switch

Test capped players are usually unable to play for two different countries at XVs level. However, a loophole came into the sport when rugby became a sevens event at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Players with dual eligibility who have already bound themselves to one country by representing that nation at XVs can now switch to their other country of allegiance through a loophole spurred on by rugby’s involvement at the Games.

Dan Leo’s ‘Oceans Apart’ rugby film receives global support

Dan Leo- who is the founder of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare, traveled to the UK to interview Pacific islands rugby players and the former greats in Samoa, Fiji and Tonga.

The film was released on Monday, titled ‘Oceans Apart: Greed, Betrayal and Pacific Island Rugby’.

The film highlights the struggles Pacific islands teams face together with the players.

Celebrity chef, Phil Vickery also reacted to the film and shared the preview on his Twitter account saying “For everyone who loves our game this is truly emotional please watch and share.”

Tonga focuses on ball delivery

Tonga A has been working hard this week in a bid to match the Cherry Blossoms at the ANZ Stadium.

Tongan fullback Kava Tagifua says they have been working on ways to counter their opponents.

“What we are expecting from Japan, we know that they play quite fast, they deliver the ball out wide so the boys are doing everything to get their all covered.”

Tonga will take on Japan at 2.30pm (FJ Time) tomorrow.