Tonga Rugby Union
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The Tonga Rugby Union is the governing body of the sport of rugby union in Tonga. They are members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Samoa. There is a rugby union playing population of less than 800 out of a total population of 100,000.
|World Rugby affiliation||1987|
|Men's coach||Toutai Kefu|
They were formed in 1923, and joined the International Rugby Board in 1987 when they were invited to play in the inaugural Rugby World Cup.
The Tonga national rugby union team is nicknamed ʻIkale Tahi (Sea Eagles). Like their Polynesian neighbours, the Tongans start their matches with a war dance – the Sipi Tau. They are members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Samoa. Tonga achieved a historic 19–14 victory over France in pool play in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but with a 2-2 record in pool play, were unable to achieve what would have been their first ever presence at the quarterfinals.
The Tonga national rugby sevens team participates occasionally in the World Rugby Sevens Series, although they are not one of the core teams. Tonga has participated in five Rugby World Cup Sevens, but has not qualified for the Summer Olympics.
The Datec Cup Provincial Championship is the highest level of rugby union competition within Tongan rugby and is a stepping stone for local players into international rugby union. Tongan Premier Cup teams include: Army (Ngaahi Koula), and Ma’ufanga Marist.
- Tora, Ilieas (20 October 2014). "Marist win best way to end rugby season: Father Selwyn". Tonga Daily News. Archived from the original on 22 October 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter