History

Tonga Rugby Football Union History

The Tonga national rugby union team are nicknamed Ikale Tahi (Sea Eagles). Like their Polynesian neighbours the Tongans start their matches with a war dance - the sipa tau.

They are members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Samoa.vDespite a total population of just 100,000  and a rugby playing population of less than 800 seniors Tonga is remarkably good at rugby. Unfortunately rugby is Tonga’s main export. Islanders like Willie Ofahengaue and brothers Steve and Toutai Kefu have played for Australia and Finau Maka, Charles Riechelmann and Pita Alatini wore the black shirt of New Zealand, as did the greatest player of Tongan ancestry - the mighty All Black winger Jonah Lomu.

Since their first Test in 1924 when Tonga beat Fiji, the greatest moment in Tonga’s rugby history came in 1973 when they beat the Australia in Brisbane 16-11, scoring four tries to two, whilst their greatest home victory was that over a touring France in 1999.

Tonga went into the 2003 World Cup on the back of appearances in 1987, 1995 and 1999 where they beat Italy.

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Tonga Rugby Union supports the Keep Rugby Clean campaign

Official RWC 2011 Team

24. Sione Lamipeti Ngalu TIMANI 27. Fetu'umoana VAINIKOLO 2. Faka'anaua ki 'Alisona TAUMALOLO 15. Thomas Ta'ufo'ou PALU 30. Taufa'ao FILISE 11. Viliami Suaesi MA'AFU 29. 'Aleki 'Aho LUTUI 19. Alaska Nikolasi TAUFA 18. Andrew Kautonga MA'ILEI 13. 'Aloisio 'Ilaisia Ma'asi 12. Ephraim TAUKAFA 4.  Halani 'AULIKA 7. Joseph Mark Laifone TU'INEAU 20. Sukanaivalu Ikavuka HUFANGA 10. Finau MAKA 6. Kelekolio Paino HEHEA 1. Soane Longopoa TONGA'UIHA 26. 'Unaloto ki Pulotu Vea TEUTAU a.k.a Taniela MOA 17. Viliame Volavola 'IONGI 23. Siale Vailea PIUTAU 21. Sione Fale ki he Fohe VAIOMO'UNGA