Ikale Tahi

Tonga names 15 new caps to face All Blacks, Samoa

The 30-man squad includes 22 players based in New Zealand, with four from France, two from Australia and one each from Japan and Italy.

The new faces includes recent Super Rugby debutants Solomone Funaki (Highlanders) and Viliami Taulani (Chiefs), former New Zealand sevens player Sam Vaka and Japan based winger Hosea Saumaki, who turned down an opportunity to play for the 'Ikale Tahi Tonga team three years ago.

Veteran halfback Sonatane Takulua will captain the 'Ikale Tahi, following the international retirement of Siale Piutau at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Former All Black Fekitoa to represent Tonga

The 29 year is one of four former New Zealand and Australian internationals who will represent the kingdom in next weekend's Final Olympic Sevens Repechage tournament in Monaco.

The others are former Wallabies forward Lopeti Timani, Australian sevens international, Afusipa Taumoepeau, and Tasman winger Tima Fainga'anuku, who is a former New Zealand sevens representative.

Fekitoa will link up with the Tonga sevens squad already in Monaco after playing in Wasps' final English Premiership match against Leicester Tigers this weekend.

Ikale Tahi side to meet All Blacks to be named next week

The team is most likely to be selected in New Zealand.

 “There will be a few overseas based players available.”

The match will take place at Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland on 3 July, kicking off at 7:05pm.

The test will help Tonga prepare for their World Cup 2023 Qualifying first-leg match against Samoa a week later on 10 July at a venue yet to be announced.

The second-leg World Cup 2023 Qualifying match between the two teams will be held in Hamilton on 17 July.

Former Tongan international Molitika retires

He leaves his English club Ampthill after seven seasons.

Molitika’s rugby career spans 23 years, during which he played for various clubs in the northern hemisphere including the Harlequins and the Cardiff Blues.

He debuted for the ‘Ikale Tahi in 1997 and was a member of the successful 2007 Rugby World Cup team. In 2008, he was selected to play for the Barbarians.

Tongan 10 Kurt Morath sets up sticks in Texas

'Ikale Tahi first five Kurt Morath had barely arrived in Austin, Texas before it was announced the 2020 Major League Rugby season was no more.

The 38 test veteran made his international debut for Tonga in 2009.

Morath made his debut for the Austin Gilgronis on 7 March, after visa problems delayed his arrival, converting Tiaan Erasmus' first half try as the visitors edged the Houston SabreCats 24-20 to seal their first win of the season and snap a 22-match losing run dating back to June 2018.

Tonga’s PM expresses gratitude to Ikale Tahi

He released a statement expressing his appreciation to the players.

“It is with utmost respect, on behalf of His Majesty King Tupou VI, the government and the people of Tonga, to convey herein our hearty congratulations, deep love and appreciation, to the coach, captain and respective member of the Ikale Tahi team for their overwhelming diligent and divinely empowered triumph at their recent Rugby World Cup game versus United States.”

“It is indeed a personification of national pride and solidarity and inspiration for the generation of today and tomorrow.”

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.

Tonga announces squad for Rugby World Cup

Players from clubs in England, France, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, USA and Tongan based players will come together to represent Ikale Tahi.

Tonga will face England, Argentina, France and the USA in the battle of Pool C.

Ikale Tahi Head Coach, Toutai Kefu said: “I’d like to congratulate all players who have been selected in our country’s squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. 
“We’ve brought together some really exciting players who are all very passionate about representing Tonga and the red jersey on the biggest stage in our sport.

Pacific Islands nations prepare for Japan 2019 at Pasifika Challenge event

The three Pacific rivals will look to fine-tune their preparations for Rugby World Cup 2019 at Eden Park when Samoa take on the New Zealand Heartland XV and Fiji play their final Rugby World Cup preparation test against Tonga.

The inaugural Pasifika Challenge was held in 2017 with Wales beating Tonga 24-6 and the All Blacks defeating Manu Samoa 78-0.

Rare home game for 'Ikale Tahi

The Australian side are already in Tonga preparing for the match against the 'Ikale Tahi at Teufaiava stadium on Saturday.

Kefu said the fixture was an important one for Tonga's World Cup build up before warm up matches against Fiji and the All Blacks.

Home matches for the national side have been few and far between over the past decade, he said.

"That is the main reason why we are doing it. Just to give something back to our supporters and our fans in Tonga. We wanted to bring a game to them, we wanted to reconnect with them," Kefu said.