rugby league

Calls for Tonga v Samoa test series

Alongside his Salford team-mate Tim Lafai, Sio received a late call-up to Samoa’s World Cup squad last year due to injuries in Matt Parish’s squad.

Sio didn’t feature in any of the games but he was incredibly proud to be part of the Samoan squad that became the first-ever tier two nation to reach a World Cup final.

“We were just happy to support our brothers but to get the call after the England game we were buzzing,” Sio told Love Rugby League. “We were like little kids in the car talking about how fun it was going to be.

Australian rugby league coach and former player dies aged 49

Green guided North Queensland Cowboys to their first National Rugby League (NRL) premiership title in 2015.

As a player, he made 162 appearances across five different clubs during a 10-year career, before retiring in 2004.

At the time of his death, he was the head coach of Queensland in the State of Origin Series.

Queensland Police said there were "no suspicious circumstances" around Green's death and that a report will be prepared for the coroner.

Green's family said they are "devastated" by his loss.

Errors cost Warriors against Eels

The Warriors put themselves under pressure in the opening stanza after conceding three set re-starts and while they defended well it was only a matter of time before they cracked.

Waqa Blake scored his first try in the 12th minute after Reed Mahoney threw a long pass behind Reagan Campbell-Gillard from dummy half for the Eels centre to stroll over the Warriors line.

The Warriors refused to give up and after a sustained period of pressure on the Parramatta line, Wayde Egan and Adam Pompey combined to put winger Marcelo Montoya over eight minutes before halftime.

Rotorua to host NRL All Stars games in 2023

The NRL has confirmed Rotorua has been selected to host the annual All Stars double header in 2023.

The event will see the men’s and women’s Māori All Stars tackle the Indigenous All Stars.

It will be the 12th NRL All Stars fixture and the fifth featuring the Māori and Indigenous teams.

The 2022 All Stars games were staged in Sydney in the lead-up to the NRL season, with the Māori triumphing 16-10 in the men’s match and the Indigenous winning the women’s clash 18-8.

Debutants in Kiwi and Kiwi Ferns teams for Mate Ma'a Tonga tests

Parramatta duo Dylan Brown and Marata Niukore plus Cronulla Sutherland winger Ronaldo Mulitalo and Penrith prop Moses Leota will all play their first Test for the Kiwis.

Brown is paired in the halves with Melbourne halfback Jahrome Hughes, Mulitalo is on the wing, Niukore is in the centres with the experienced Peta Hiku and Leota is on a potent bench.

Bennett, Young join Tonga coaching staff

Bennett, who will next year return to the NRL coaching ranks with the new Dolphins franchise, will act as a coaching advisor to Dean Young, who will deputise for Tonga mentor Kristian Woolf.

With Woolf unable to travel to Auckland for the Test due to his commitments with St Helens in the Super League, Young will take charge for the one-off Test.

The Mate Ma’a Tonga rugby league team will gain an injection of experience and youth in their coaching ranks for the upcoming Test against the New Zealand Kiwis.

Sharks bite Sea Eagles

Cronulla wrecking ball Siosifa Talakai was virtually unstoppable in the first half as he scored two tries and laid on three others in arguably the best 40 minute display by any player this season as the Sharks raced to a 32-0 half-time lead.

The Sydney-born Talakai, who played for the junior Kiwis but has pledged his World Cup allegiances to Tonga, also produced three line breaks, two line-break assists, seven tackle breaks and three off-loads while carrying the ball 202 metres in 13 runs at left centre.

Long-awaited Kiwis clash with Tonga in June to be officially announced next week

Newshub understands an official announcement will be made next week to confirm the clash at Mt Smart Stadium on June 25. 

The Kiwis haven't played since November 2019 and haven't played at Mt Smart, since they beat Tonga in June 2019. 

The game may form a doubleheader with the Kiwi Ferns, as both sides prepare for this year's Rugby League World Cup in England.

The international game took a major hit, when the Rugby League World Cup was postponed last year, and games leading up to the delayed tournament may reignite the test calendar.  

Tonga World Cup squad will be stronger than ever, insists Kristian Woolf

The Tongan national squad have enjoyed a meteoric rise through the rankings in international rugby league in recent years.

They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2017 before going on to claim historic wins over Australia and Great Britain in 2019.

Woolf, who is also coach of Super League champions St Helens, believes Tonga will have their best squad yet at this autumn’s World Cup, which is hosted in England.

Woolf told Love Rugby League: “I think we have got a real opportunity at the end of the year.

Kaiviti Silktails season ended by Covid-19

  The Fijian side relocated to Australia six months ago to compete in the Ron Massey Cup, after last year's competition was cancelled because of Covid-19.

The Silktails managed six wins, six losses and one draw in 13 matches before the competition was suspended at the start of July, with their last hitout a 26-16 win over Blacktown Workers on 24 June.