Nuku’alofa, 24 October2014: Tonga’s Head Coach Mana ‘Otai and the Tongan team are ready to face the end of year European tour as they prepare to embark for Georgia, then on to face USA and Six Nations powerhouse Scotland.
With on field support from internationals Ben Tameifuna, Fetu’u Vanikolo and Elvis Taione, and the much publicised off field technical support from former Springboks and ACT Brumbies coach Jake White, Tonga is fielding a strong and competitive side that stands ready to take on the diverse international game play from the northern hemisphere teams.
As well as meeting the challenge of facing these teams, Interim CEO Fuka Kitekai’aho points to the opportunities this tour presents “[This] is an opportunity for our team to come together and gel.”
“This team may form the core of our next year’s team [to play the Rugby World Cup], to come together and play against good opposition is an advantage.”
“I think the team is looking forward to these three tests, we have high expectations that they will gel well and play good rugby.”
The tour marks the next step in an exciting period of growth within Tongan rugby, as the squad looks to continue to build momentum towards the Rugby World Cup. This Tongan team has the potential to provide a real threat long term, and is preparing to send a message to the world that they are here to win.
Tongan End of Year Test Series:
8 Nov – Tonga v Georgia
15 Nov – Tonga v USA
22 Nov – Tonga v Scotland
Tonga squad: Sona Taumalolo, Halani Aulika, Tevita Mailau, Taione Vea, Sila Puafisi, Vaea Taione, Paula Ngauamo, Aleki Lutui, Tukulua Lokotui, Joe Tuineau, Lisiate Faaoso, Hale T Pole, Nili Latu, Amanaki Mafi, Viliami Fihaki, Maama Vaipulu, Viliami Maafu, Sonatane Tukulua, Thomas Palu, Taniela Moa, Latiume Fosita, Kurt Morath, Liueli Simote, Sione Piukala, Siale Piutau, Fetu’u Vainikolo, Daniel Kilioni, Otulea Katoa, David Halaifonua, Vungakoto Lilo