Tonga rugby

Tonga grateful for new global sevens series

The Kingdom and Papua New Guinea are among 16 countries that will take part in the new Men's World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in 2020.

The inaugural campaign will feature two tournaments in Chile and Uruguay, with the top eight ranked core teams to then compete in a final playoff tournament for a place on next season's World Sevens Series.

Tonga coach Tevita Tu'ifua said he was looking forward to being a part of the new competition.

Tonga's 'Zane Train' tipped to succeed with Highlanders

Kapeli, 27, who only made his test debut 12 months ago, was one of 46 rookies named in the New Zealand Super Rugby squads this week.

He started all four of Tonga's pool games in Japan - making headlines for a crunching tackle on England number eight Billy Vunipola on the opening weekend - and Alatini, who was a skills coach with the 'Ikale Tahi squad, said the opportunity is well deserved.

Tonga to face PNG in bronze medal play-off

The team won four out of five pool matches losing to Australia in its last game.

Tonga is likely to play in the Olympic Recharge Tournament in France next year if they defeat PNG in the today’s face off.

By making the bronze medal match, the side has qualified for World Series tournaments in Chile and Uruguay next year that are qualifiers for Hong Kong.

The three days Oceania Rugby Championship tournament will end this afternoon at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.


Tonga face tough task at Oceania Olympic 7s qualifier

Ten countries, including World Series regulars Samoa and Australia, are competing this week for the chance to confirm their spot in Tokyo next year, with the two pool winners to square off on Saturday in the Oceania Qualifying Final.

Tonga open their qualifying campaign against American Samoa on Thursday and will also take on Vanuatu, Nauru and Australia in pool play.

Head coach Tevita Tuʻifua said there was a lot at stake: "It is a very important tournament for us," he said. "Not only for our programme but for the future of Tongan sevens."

Tonga lament slow start against France

The 'Ikale Tahi were pipped 23-21 in Kumamoto last night, having trailed 17-0 just before half-time.

Tonga also gave Argentina a 28-point headstart last week and coach Toutai Kefu was at a loss to explain their sluggish beginnings.

"I don't know, it's a good question. The coaches talked about it straight away post-game - maybe we warm up for too long (laughing), I don't know. It's something we need to look at. I think it's probably just the mental thing because, as you can see, we finish a game really well so definitely an issue for us," Toutai Kefu said.

Tonga question Argentina "shoulder charge"

The 'Ikale Tahi are all but out of playoff contention after a 28-12 defeat by the Pumas in Higashiosaka left then winless and without a point after two games.

Argentine hooker Julian Montoya bagged a hat-trick inside 25 minutes as the South Americans raced out to a 28-0 lead.

The 'Ikale Tahi were given a lifeline just before the half-hour mark when fullback Telusa Veainu weaved past two defenders to score their first try of the tournament.

Nasi Manu recovery on track for England opener

Manu was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year and missed the entire 2018 season as he underwent treatment.

He was then named 'Ikale Tahi captain for this year's Pacific Nations Cup, but had to withdraw from the campaign just before it kicked off because of a pectoral injury.

"He's been fantastic in the way that he has really worked hard to get back and all bearing well he is looking good and [hopefully] he will be up for selection against England but only time will tell," Alatini said.

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.

Christchurch roofer to start against All Blacks on test debut

The 22 year old Maile was a shock inclusion when Tonga's Rugby World Cup squad was announced earlier this week and gets his chance against the world champions after injuries to Paula Ngauamo (calf) and Sosefo Sakalia (ribs), with Sione Anga'aelangi called into the team to provide cover off the bench.

'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu admitted he still did not know much about the young man who was only called into the squad a few weeks ago.

Tonga coach focussed on beating Fiji as part of RWC prep

Tonga play Fiji as part of the Pasifika Challenge with the New Zealand Heartland XV meeting Samoa in the early game.

The Kingdom have only won 27 of their previous 91 match-ups against the Flying Fijians but prevailed when the teams last met in Lautoka 14 months ago.

Toutai Kefu said he is fine-tuning his squad heading into the World Cup but are not looking too far ahead.

"We have a squad of 33 at the moment so we need to drop two players out of the squad, one forward and one back but in terms of this game we want to win.