Tonga Rugby League

TNRL expulsion criticised: like "trying to kill a fly with a bazooka"

The Tonga National Rugby League (TNRL) was expelled from the International Rugby League (IRL) in March, after a long-running battle over governance, money and a threatened player boycott.

APRL Chairman Sandis Tsaka believed the approach was too heavy-handed.

"There may have been some issues but the way that we tried to resolve the issue in Tonga was, I think, trying to kill a fly with a bazooka, if you know what I mean," he said.

Tonga NRL appeal adjourned until December

TNRL was expelled from the International Rugby League in March, after a long-running battle over governance, money and a threatened player boycott.

It appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport with the hearing originally scheduled to take place today via video conference.

But the date of the hearing has been vacated.

TNRL Secretary William Edwards says the IRL have advised the Court the time allocated for the hearing was not sufficient, after TNRL filed 12 witness statements on September 7.

Court of Arbitration for Sport to hear Tonga NRL appeal

The hearing is set to conclude a long-running battle over governance which has involved players, administrators and the Tongan government.

TNRL Secretary William Edwards will be participating in the hearing via video conference from Auckland, where he's been situated since New Zealand's first lockdown in March, when he was forced to miss the Special General Meeting where full members voted on the expulsion.

Three arbitrators are expected to hear the arguments, with Covid-19 forcing the officials to beam in from far-flung locations.

Tonga lodges second application for IRL membership

The organisation that lodged the second application has not been named.

The organisation is hoping to become Tonga’s recognised national rugby league governing body.

According to the Asia Pacific Rugby League, they have received the second new application and will review it initially before a recommendation is made to the IRL and the wider membership.

Lord Fakafanua is the President of TMTRL Board, and Semisi Sika as Chair with Sika Manu and Will Hopoate as nominated board members.

Tonga applies for International Rugby League full membership

The application which was sent to the Asia Pacific Rugby League, will be reviewed before it is sent to the IRL for approval.

In a release issued on 30 June, IRL stated that the TMTRL application signals the dissolution of the implementation committee, formed by three members of the Tongan rugby league community who volunteered to assist an APRL representative to facilitate Tonga’s smooth return to the world stage as an IRL member.

TMTRL prepare for IRL membership despite govt concerns

Twenty-two clubs reportedly attended the meeting recognising TMTRL as the governing body of rugby league in Tonga. They also voted unanimously that TMTRL apply immediately for membership of International Rugby League, to fill the position left vacant by the expulsion of the previous body, the TNRL, in March.

The inaugural meeting saw the adoption of a new constitution, including new compliance and guidelines at the request of clubs as well as the appointment of key board roles.

Tonga Government disappointed with Tonga Rugby League appointments

Member of Parliament Semisi Sika and Speaker of Parliament Lord Fakafanua were appointed executives in a meeting facilitated by the Implementation Committee (IC) established by International Rugby League last week.

A statement said the Government is deeply concerned with the lack of consultation by the IRL leading up to the expulsion of the TNRL and subsequently with the recommendation to establish an Implementation Committee (IC).

Tonga Rugby League appoints new executives

The Speaker of Parliament, Lord Fakafanua has been elected as the new president taking over from ousted Siaosi Koloamatangi.

Sika, the former president of the sport in Tonga, confirmed his appointment to Kaniva News Friday.

Local businessman John Paul Chapman is the new Finance Director.

It is understood the election took place after an Implementation Committee was appointed by International Rugby League (IRL) to find directors for a new governing body for Tonga’s rugby league, which will then seek to regain membership of IRL.

Sika proposed as new Tongan Rugby League Chair

An Implementation Committee, appointed by International Rugby League, has shortlisted Semisi Sika and the current Speaker of Parliament, Lord Fakafanua, to fulfil the role of independent chairman.

Sika was president of the TNRL administration dissolved by Tonga's Supreme Court in 2016 for financial mismanagement, with the Chief Justice at the time declaring Tonga National Rugby League had been "dysfunctional for years".

Tonga's Woolf says new governing body must unite behind team

A decision to expel the Tonga National Rugby League (TNRL) from the International Rugby League, IRL, was confirmed in March, although TNRL is planning a last-ditch appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

The former governing body had been suspended since September after it sacked Kristian Woolf over disagreements around control and finances, leading players to threaten a boycott of international matches.