Tonga rugby

‘We’d welcome him with open arms’: Folau ‘keen’ on remarkable Rugby World Cup comeback

The World Rugby Council will meet on November 24 to vote on a proposal to allow players to represent a second nation.

World Rugby officials want Pacific island nations to be strengthened by being able to pick homegrown players who have made their Test debuts for other countries.

Folau has not played rugby union since he was sacked by Rugby Australia in 2019 following a controversial social media post.

The 32-year-old played for French rugby league outfit the Catalans last year but is on the cusp of a union comeback in Japanese rugby.

Louis Lynagh added to England squad ahead of Tonga test

Lynagh, the son of Australia great Michael Lynagh, was selected in an extended training group for the first time in September but was then jettisoned when Eddie Jones reduced his group for the Tests at Twickenham to 34 players.

The 20-year-old’s inclusion comes after the Wallabies last week expressed an interest in securing his national allegiance, while he is also qualified to play for Italy.

'It is sad' - Hopes Kefu will make Tonga tour as All Black welcomed onboard

Kefu’s wife remains in hospital with a serious wound to her arm but the former Australian World Cup winner has been released along with his son and daughter who were also injured in the machete and knife attack by four teenage robbers who now face various charges, including attempted murder. Kefu has revealed the impact of the horrific incident saying: “You know at times, there’s outbursts of crying. I think the first step for us is just getting back to the house and then we take it day-by-day. The kids seem to be OK, but they still need to be monitored probably moving forward.

Latest on stab victim Toutai Kefu

Tonga’s 47-year-old head coach, who played 60 Tests for the Wallabies and was part of their 1999 World Cup win, was rushed to hospital with his wife and two of his children earlier this week.

The trio were reported to be injured when confronting three intruders at their Brisbane home in what local police later described as a bungled burglary attempt.

Police allege the trio were armed with knives, a machete and an axe, all of which were used during the attack.

All Black great believes NRL has the best model for Pasifika talent

Discussing the issue on Sky Sport’s The Breakdown, former All Black great John Kirwan highlighted the central contracting system in New Zealand creates a disincentive for Pacific Island players from representing their home nations.

He compared New Zealand Rugby’s [NZR] contracting system to that of the NRL, which has removed conflict of interest from the equation with a separation of club and national control.

Kirwan suggested that if Super Rugby clubs could fund the majority of a player’s wages, they may be in a position to represent their home nation, such as Tonga.

New Zealand Rugby confirms Pasifika July, with All Blacks to meet Fiji and Tonga

In the end the compromise, with its Pacific cultural twist, was the best that could be managed after Italy withdrew from its scheduled two-test tour of New Zealand because of concerns and difficulties around travelling under Covid-19 protocols.

The All Blacks will meet Tonga and Fiji (twice) in their three July tests over the first three Saturdays of the month, while the Maori will also line up against Samoa in what should be a high-interest, and historic, double-header at Auckland's Mount Smart Stadium on July 3.

Dan Leo’s ‘Oceans Apart’ rugby film receives global support

Dan Leo- who is the founder of the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare, traveled to the UK to interview Pacific islands rugby players and the former greats in Samoa, Fiji and Tonga.

The film was released on Monday, titled ‘Oceans Apart: Greed, Betrayal and Pacific Island Rugby’.

The film highlights the struggles Pacific islands teams face together with the players.

Celebrity chef, Phil Vickery also reacted to the film and shared the preview on his Twitter account saying “For everyone who loves our game this is truly emotional please watch and share.”

PNG and Tonga teams get second shot at Rugby World Cup

Tonga withdrew from the Oceania Championship three months ago after the team was quarantined for measles but were thrown a lifeline after World Rugby agreed to a revised qualification process.

Fiji has already secured their spot after beating Samoa 41-13 in the Oceania qualifying final, with the winner of this weekend's match in Port Moresby to playoff against the Manusina in April for a place in the final World Cup repechage 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 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."