Tonga rugby

Nasi Manu recovery on track for England opener

Manu was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year and missed the entire 2018 season as he underwent treatment.

He was then named 'Ikale Tahi captain for this year's Pacific Nations Cup, but had to withdraw from the campaign just before it kicked off because of a pectoral injury.

"He's been fantastic in the way that he has really worked hard to get back and all bearing well he is looking good and [hopefully] he will be up for selection against England but only time will tell," Alatini said.

Tonga wary of England in their RWC opener

The team was welcomed in a traditional Japanese manner in Kochi on Monday night.

Tonga will be facing England in their first match of the World Cup.

The team is under the guidance of Toutai Kefu, who was born in Tonga but made 60 caps for Australia during his playing career. He took charge of the Tongan national team shortly following the 2015 World Cup. Their most recent result was a crushing 92-7 defeat to New Zealand.

Christchurch roofer to start against All Blacks on test debut

The 22 year old Maile was a shock inclusion when Tonga's Rugby World Cup squad was announced earlier this week and gets his chance against the world champions after injuries to Paula Ngauamo (calf) and Sosefo Sakalia (ribs), with Sione Anga'aelangi called into the team to provide cover off the bench.

'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu admitted he still did not know much about the young man who was only called into the squad a few weeks ago.

Tonga coach focussed on beating Fiji as part of RWC prep

Tonga play Fiji as part of the Pasifika Challenge with the New Zealand Heartland XV meeting Samoa in the early game.

The Kingdom have only won 27 of their previous 91 match-ups against the Flying Fijians but prevailed when the teams last met in Lautoka 14 months ago.

Toutai Kefu said he is fine-tuning his squad heading into the World Cup but are not looking too far ahead.

"We have a squad of 33 at the moment so we need to drop two players out of the squad, one forward and one back but in terms of this game we want to win.

Tonga in good shape for World Cup

The 'Ikale Tahi could only manage one win over Canada in the last of their three games at the recent Pacific Nations Cup but have three more warm up matches before the world showcase.

Kefu said after a month of training and touring together his players were in good shape.

"We've made some big shifts in terms of weight loss and body fat loss. We also made some huge shifts in terms of intensive running," Kefu said.

"It was important that we get a win considering the last four weeks of training have been pretty tough on the boys."

Tonga make changes for PNC final round

The two sides meet in the last round of the Pacific Nations Cup in Lautoka.

Kefu has made four changes made to the forward pack which was soundly beaten in Osaka last week.

Paula Ngauamo and Siua Halanukonuka comes into the front row and former Hurricane lock Sam Lousi returns from injury forcing Sitiveni Mafi to move into the loose forwards.

Zane Kapeli will start at number eight instead of Maama Vaipulu, while James Faiva and Malietoa Hingano take their place in the backline at first five and centre respectively.

Japan continues to show mettle with impressive win over Tonga

The Brave Blossoms put aside the absence of their head coach, an early yellow card to Kotaro Matsushima and some worrying penalties to ensure Tonga was never in the Pacific Nations Cup game at Hanazono Rugby Stadium on Saturday, finishing as 41-7 winners in stifling heat and humidity.

With the forwards showing the benefits of the Miyazaki “Camp of Hell,” and the backs making good use of the balls that came their way, the Brave Blossoms put in a performance that will have worried their World Cup Pool A opponents, particularly with the speed at which they played the game.

'Both teams wanted to play' - World Rugby defends pitch decision in Samoa

The global governing body has come under fire from some quarters after Samoa’s win over Tonga was played in dire weather conditions, with water pooling in some sections of t

Tonga centre Cooper Vuna and second row Sam Lousi have both taken to social media since the game to express their frustrations at what became something of a mudbath.

“Shoutout to World Rugby for signing off the field for us to play on today,” wrote Lousi, who has signed for Pro14 side Scarlets ahead of the new season, on Twitter.

Remarkable comeback on hold for Tongan capt

Manu, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year, was originally named as 'Ikale Tahi captain for the Pacific Nations Cup opener.

He had missed the entire 2018 season for his Italian club Bennetton Treviso while he undertook treatment and his naming in the squad had been a source of inspiration for many of the players.

However this morning the 'Ikale Tahi announced that Manu, a former Highlanders Super Rugby captain, had been been forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury.

Cancer survivor to lead Tonga against Samoa

'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu has named a squad which is notable for a handful of newcomers, including former Hurricanes lock Sam Lousi, and the return of 30 year old Manu.

Manu played three tests for Tonga before missing the entire season for Italian club Bennetton Treviso to undergo chemotherapy and testicular cancer surgery.

The match on Saturday is the 'Ikale Tahi's first in their World Cup build up which will culminate with a test against New Zealand in September.