Former Tonga rugby player gets new kidney

The former Tonga international rugby player Sione Vaiomo'unga is recovering well after receiving an emergency kidney transplant in Romania, the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare organisation says.

Vaiomo'unga played for Tonga at the 2011 Rugby World Cup before securing a club contract to play in Romania in 2014.

It was there that he was diagnosed with kidney disease and remained in the country for dialysis treatment not available in Tonga.

The New Zealand Herald reported that his story went viral and led to more than $US 42,000 being raised by the organisation through crowd funding for the transplant procedure.

In a tweet on Friday morning NZ time, Pacific Rugby Players Welfare said the former Ikale Tahi player had successfully undergone the transplant operation.