Nuku’alofa, 30 April 2015: With a little under six months until kick off, the buzz around this year’s Rugby World Cup is growing exponentially. Teams are starting to consider play makers, positions, and strategy.
For the Tongan ‘Ikale Tahi this is a chance to continue building on the foundations laid by Head Coach Mana ‘Otai and Captain Nili Latu in last year’s European Tour.
The European tour went a long way to proving this is a very different ‘Ikale Tahi team getting set to take the field. ‘Otai and Latu have combined well to put a real focus not only on game play and technical skill, but also on what it means to be part of the team. Discipline on and off the field is a key aspect of the new structure, with a view to seeing this event, and this team, as something more than just the Rugby World Cup.
The Tongan Rugby Union has recently put it’s support behind a number of family based initiatives, speaking out against violence towards woman, a cancer charity for children (WOWS), and against school yard violence. ‘Ikale Tahi have been vocal with regards to giving back to the Tongan community, and to creating a legacy that stands long after the cheers from Rugby World Cup have faded.
‘Ikale Tahi are gearing towards their first game with Georgia, building up in July and August with the Pacific Nations Cup in Fiji and Canada. The team will gather in Tonga early July to begin preparations for an action packed series of games, with success being measured in far more ways than just on the field.
‘Ikale Tahi face Fiji, USA and Canada in the Pacific Nations Cup. Broadcast details will be made available closer to game dates.