Tonga rugby

Tonga in good shape for World Cup

The 'Ikale Tahi could only manage one win over Canada in the last of their three games at the recent Pacific Nations Cup but have three more warm up matches before the world showcase.

Kefu said after a month of training and touring together his players were in good shape.

"We've made some big shifts in terms of weight loss and body fat loss. We also made some huge shifts in terms of intensive running," Kefu said.

"It was important that we get a win considering the last four weeks of training have been pretty tough on the boys."

Tonga make changes for PNC final round

The two sides meet in the last round of the Pacific Nations Cup in Lautoka.

Kefu has made four changes made to the forward pack which was soundly beaten in Osaka last week.

Paula Ngauamo and Siua Halanukonuka comes into the front row and former Hurricane lock Sam Lousi returns from injury forcing Sitiveni Mafi to move into the loose forwards.

Zane Kapeli will start at number eight instead of Maama Vaipulu, while James Faiva and Malietoa Hingano take their place in the backline at first five and centre respectively.

Japan continues to show mettle with impressive win over Tonga

The Brave Blossoms put aside the absence of their head coach, an early yellow card to Kotaro Matsushima and some worrying penalties to ensure Tonga was never in the Pacific Nations Cup game at Hanazono Rugby Stadium on Saturday, finishing as 41-7 winners in stifling heat and humidity.

With the forwards showing the benefits of the Miyazaki “Camp of Hell,” and the backs making good use of the balls that came their way, the Brave Blossoms put in a performance that will have worried their World Cup Pool A opponents, particularly with the speed at which they played the game.

'Both teams wanted to play' - World Rugby defends pitch decision in Samoa

The global governing body has come under fire from some quarters after Samoa’s win over Tonga was played in dire weather conditions, with water pooling in some sections of t

Tonga centre Cooper Vuna and second row Sam Lousi have both taken to social media since the game to express their frustrations at what became something of a mudbath.

“Shoutout to World Rugby for signing off the field for us to play on today,” wrote Lousi, who has signed for Pro14 side Scarlets ahead of the new season, on Twitter.

Remarkable comeback on hold for Tongan capt

Manu, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer last year, was originally named as 'Ikale Tahi captain for the Pacific Nations Cup opener.

He had missed the entire 2018 season for his Italian club Bennetton Treviso while he undertook treatment and his naming in the squad had been a source of inspiration for many of the players.

However this morning the 'Ikale Tahi announced that Manu, a former Highlanders Super Rugby captain, had been been forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury.

Cancer survivor to lead Tonga against Samoa

'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu has named a squad which is notable for a handful of newcomers, including former Hurricanes lock Sam Lousi, and the return of 30 year old Manu.

Manu played three tests for Tonga before missing the entire season for Italian club Bennetton Treviso to undergo chemotherapy and testicular cancer surgery.

The match on Saturday is the 'Ikale Tahi's first in their World Cup build up which will culminate with a test against New Zealand in September.

Canada loses to Tonga in World Rugby U20 Trophy as comeback falls just short

The Pacific islanders led 21-10 at the half and withstood a Canadian comeback at Estadio Martins Pereira. Trailing 26-15 with 14 minutes late, the Canadian scored two late tries but missed both conversions and fell just short.

The eight-team World Rugby U20 Trophy is a second-tier youth championship. The tournament winner earns promotion to the 12-team World Rugby U20 Championship won by France last month.

Nick Carson, Reid Davis, Will Mathews and Michael McCarthy scored tries for Canada. Captain Will Percillier added a penalty and a conversion.

Cancer survivor Nasi Manu named in Tonga's 31-man Pacific Nations Cup squad

The 31-year-old loose forward missed Benetton Treviso’s entire 2018-19 Pro14 season after being diagnosed with testicular cancer at the end of last year.

He has since made a miraculous recovery after undergoing chemotherapy treatment for the illness, and is poised to make his first appearance for the ‘Ikale Tahi since facing Fiji in Lautoka last June.

'We'd love to have him': Tonga opens door for Israel Folau as brother vies for Cup squad

The Sydney Morning Herald revealed this week John Folau had backflipped on a deal to return to rugby league after asking the Waratahs for a release because of "personal reasons", believed to be related to his brother's controversial sacking.

The 24-year-old told Blacktown Workers, the feeder club for Manly, he would lace the boots this weekend for them but then told club officials he had decided to instead concentrate on his rugby.

Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Heartland XV to play at Eden Park as World Cup warm up

An announcement was made at the venue of the games on Wednesday morning, which will be warm up fixtures for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (Ateed), which is an arm of Auckland Council, is involved with putting on the games and there is hope that fans will come out in a similar way to how they've done for the Tongan rugby league team in recent years.