Tonga 7s strengthens Tokyo Olympics preparations

The Tonga national 7s side has pumped up their Olympics preparations in New Zealand.

The side played against the world’s best- the All Blacks in Tauranga over the weekend.

The All Blacks Sevens split their squad into two for the invitational; an All Blacks Sevens ‘Black’ and an All Blacks Sevens ‘Orange’ side.

Over two days, all the teams played five games each at Blake Park.

Tonga lost to the Black Team by 31-5 before the Orange Team beat them 54-0. The Orange and Black ABs then faced off in a close match where Orange came from behind to beat Team Black 14-12.

Tonga Head Coach Tevita Tu’ifua told the Bay of Plenty Sunlive News that the opportunity to base his side in New Zealand during Covid-19 would better prepare them for the all-crucial qualifiers scheduled for June this year.

“It’s a blessing for the group and also for the country as well, especially to have the relationship with New Zealand is quite a great blessing for us prior to the main event.”

The event he refers to is the final World Rugby Seven Repechage in Monaco; the final qualification event for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Twelve men’s teams will take to battle for the last spot in the Olympic Games. Samoa and Tonga are up against Ireland, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Mexico, Uganda and Zimbabwe.