Tongan rugby players

Seven Tongan players ready to represent Japan in RWC 2019

The hosts have named Asaeli Valu,  Uve Helu, Amanaki Lelei Mafi,  William Tupou,  Ataata Moeakiola, Lemeki Romano and Nakajima Isileli.

Mafi received minor injuries in their warm up match against South Africa but was given the green light for the RWC.

The powerful No.8 and and flying wing Kenki Fukuoka were both forced from the field, leaving head coach Joseph with some headaches ahead of his side's Pool A opener against Russia in Tokyo on Sept. 20.

Community reacts to Lauaki’s death; concerns grow as kidney failure affects some Tongan players

Unlike Jonah Lomu, who died after suffering from a rare kidney disorder, Lauaki’s kidney failure issue was not widely known to many Tongans.

Kaniva News reports his death Sunday at 35 came as a huge shock.

Tongan All Blacks trialist and former ‘Ikaletahi chief coach Manakaetau ‘Otai said he was concerned that kidney failure problems appeared to have affected some Pacific Island players.

He said Lauaki’s death was “tragic news.”

‘Otai said Lauaki’s rugby talent was marred by his sickness which was discovered while he was playing in France.