Tonga national rugby union team

The Tonga national rugby union team (Tongan: timi feohi ʻakapulu fakafonua ʻa Tonga) represents Tonga in men's international rugby union. The team is nicknamed ʻIkale Tahi (Sea Eagles). Like their Polynesian neighbours, the Tongans start their matches with a traditional piece of performance art – the Sipi Tau. They are members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance (PIRA) along with Fiji and Samoa. The Ikale Tahi achieved a historic 19–14 victory over France in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but having lost to New Zealand and Canada, were unable to achieve what would have been their first-ever presence at the quarter-finals.

Tonga
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)ʻIkale Tahi (The Sea Eagles)
EmblemWhite dove
UnionTonga Rugby Union
Head coachToutai Kefu
CaptainSonatane Takulua
Most capsNili Latu (54)
Top scorerKurt Morath (340)
Top try scorerFetu'u Vainikolo (18)
Home stadiumTeufaiva Sport Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current16 (as of 2 June 2022)
Highest9 (2011, 2012)
Lowest20 (2005, 2006)
First international
 Tonga 9–6 Fiji 
(Nuku'alofa, Tonga; 25 August 1924)
Biggest win
 Tonga 119–0 South Korea 
(Nuku'alofa, Tonga; 22 March 2003)
Biggest defeat
 New Zealand 102–0 Tonga 
(Auckland, New Zealand; 16 June 2000)
 New Zealand 102–0 Tonga 
(Auckland, New Zealand; 3 July 2021)
World Cup
Appearances8 (First in 1987)
Best resultPool stage (1987, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019)

HistoryEdit

Rugby was brought to the region in the early 20th century by sailors and missionaries, and the Tonga Rugby Football Union was formed in late 1923. Tonga beat Fiji 9–6 in their first test in 1924 played in the capital Nukuʻalofa. However, Tonga lost the second test 14–3 and drew the decider 0–0.

Between 1924 and 1938 Tonga and Fiji played three test series every alternate year. Matches between the two Pacific nations were hard fought; many have claimed that the ancient feuding wars between the Islanders were transplanted onto the rugby field. Troubles during the third Test of Fiji's 1928 tour to Tonga forced the game to be abandoned with Tonga leading 11–8. In 1954 Tonga played host to a touring Western Samoa.

Tonga beat New Zealand Maori[1] in 1969, but had to wait until 1973 before they played their second test match, a 30–12 defeat against Australia in Sydney. They got their revenge when they beat Australia in Ballymore, Brisbane 16–11, scoring four tries to two in June 1973. The following year they traveled to the Arms Park for a non-cap international against Wales, a game that ended in a 26–7 defeat.

The first Tongan tour to Great Britain was in 1974, when they played 10 games, including those in Wales against East Wales, Llanelli, North Wales, Newport, West Wales and a Wales XV. The only tour victory was by 18–13 in the opener against East Wales. The 'tests' were lost by 44–8 to a Scotland XV and by 26–7 to the Wales XV.

They remained a little-known quantity in Europe until 1986, when Wales embarked on a tour of Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa. Early in the game against Tonga, Welsh flanker Mark Brown was knocked over by three Tongan forwards, leading to a mass brawl involving the entire team except Malcolm Dacey and Mark Titley. Robert Jones describes the event in his book Raising The Dragon as "the worst brawl I have ever seen on a rugby field." At the post-match dinner Jonathan Davies was asked to give a few words in Welsh and as the hosts politely applauded he described them as "the dirtiest team I have ever played against"[2][3]

Tonga were drawn to play Wales again in the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. The previous meeting, plus the decision to rest some of the leading players, led to a poor Welsh performance though they managed to win 29–16. Tonga lost its other two games to Ireland (32–9) and Canada (37–4).

They failed to qualify for the 1991 Rugby World Cup. In 1994 they won the South Pacific championship on try count and so qualified for the Super 10, in which they finished bottom of their pool with only one point.

They qualified for the 1995 World Cup ahead of Fiji on points difference. Tonga managed only two victories in the next two World Cups, against the 29–11 Côte d'Ivoire in 1995 and Italy in 1999. The win over the Côte d'Ivoire brought tragedy when Ivorian winger Max Brito was left paralyzed.

June 1999 brought a 20–16 defeat of France in Nukuʻalofa over a touring France but in 2000 they were defeated 102–0 (including 15 tries) by New Zealand.

After losing their first four matches to Fiji and Samoa, Tonga finished third in the Oceania qualifying group. As a result, they had to play home and away matches against Papua New Guinea, which they won 47–14 and 84–12, followed by a play-off against South Korea, who finished as runners-up in the Asian section. Tonga thrashed them 75–0 and 119–0.

At the 2003 Rugby World Cup Tonga lost all their games and finished bottom of their pool. Although they kept Wales to 20–27, they were again thrashed by New Zealand 91–7.

In 2007 Tonga participated in the 2007 Rugby World Cup, winning two of their pool matches and nearly defeating the eventual champions, South Africa, before losing 30–25.

Tonga achieved one of the most unexpected victories in Rugby World Cup history with their 19–14 win over France in the 2011 World Cup.[4]

On 24 November 2012, Tonga beat Scotland, at Pittodrie Stadium, 21–15 for their first victory over a traditional rugby power on a European pitch.

Sipi TauEdit

Like several Pacific rugby nations, Tonga has a pre-game war dance, called the Sipi Tau. It is a form of the Kailao, which was originally a war dance that was imported to Tonga from Wallis Island. It is usually performed at both public and private ceremonies.

During the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Australia, in Tonga's match against the All Blacks, the All Blacks began their traditional haka, and then Tonga answered to the haka through the sipi tau whilst the All Blacks were performing, bringing the teams within metres of one another just prior to kick-off.[5]

Wins against Tier 1 nationsEdit

30 June 1973 Australia   11–16   Tonga   Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane  
Try: Cole
Tindall
Pen: McGill
Report Try: Kavapalu
Latu
Mafi Pahulu
Vave
Attendance: 9,563
Referee:   Bob Burnett (Australia)
16 June 1999 Tonga   20–16   France   Teufaiva Sport Stadium, Nukuʻalofa  
Try: Taufahema
Taumalolo (2)
Con: Sateki Tuipulotu
Pen: Sateki Tuipulotu
Report Try: Sarraméa
Con: Lamaison
Pen: Lamaison (3)
Attendance: 7,000
Referee:   Clayton Thomas (Wales)
10 October 1999 Italy   25–28   Tonga   Welford Road, Leicester  
Try: Moscardi
Con: Domínguez
Pen: Domínguez (6)
Report Try: Fatani
Taufahema
Sateki Tuipulotu
Con: Sateki Tuipulotu (2)
Pen: Sateki Tuipulotu (2)
Drop: Sateki Tuipulotu
Attendance: 10,244
Referee:   Dave McHugh (Ireland)
1 October 2011 France   14–19   Tonga   Westpac Stadium, Wellington  
Try: Clerc 80' m
Pen: Yachvili (3/3) 1', 23', 49'
Report Try: Hufanga 26' c
Con: Morath (1/1) 28'
Pen: Morath (4/8) 6', 35', 66', 72'
Attendance: 32,763
Referee:   Steve Walsh (Australia)
24 November 2012 Scotland   15–21   Tonga   Pittodrie, Aberdeen  
Pen: Laidlaw (5/7) 10', 38', 46', 55', 61'
Report Try: Lokotui 51' c
Vainikolo 65' m
Con: Apikotoa (1/2) 52'
Pen: Apikotoa (3/5) 5', 64', 72'
Attendance: 20,306
Referee:   Mathieu Raynal (France)
26 November 2016 Italy   17–19   Tonga   Stadio Euganeo, Padua  
15:00 CET (UTC+1) Try: Cittadini 12' c
Allan 54' c
Con: Canna (1/1) 13'
Allan (1/1) 55'
Pen: Padovani (1/1) 77'
Report Try: Piutau 51' c
Con: Takulua (1/1) 53'
Pen: Takulua (4/5) 32', 45', 77', 80'
Attendance: 18,125
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Overall recordEdit

Top 20 as of 16 January 2023[6]
Rank Change* Team Points
1     Ireland 090.63
2     France 090.01
3     New Zealand 088.98
4     South Africa 088.97
5     England 083.66
6  3   Australia 081.80
7  1   Scotland 081.55
8  1   Argentina 080.72
9     Wales 078.09
10     Japan 077.39
11     Samoa 076.03
12     Italy 075.95
13     Georgia 075.19
14     Fiji 074.84
15     Tonga 071.21
16     Spain 067.17
17     Uruguay 066.24
18     Portugal 065.97
19     United States 065.92
20     Romania 064.79
21     Namibia 061.60
22     Chile 060.89
23     Canada 060.46
24     Hong Kong 059.66
25     Russia 058.06
26     Belgium 055.97
27     Brazil 055.23
28     Switzerland 053.80
29     Netherlands 053.12
30     Poland 053.03
* Change from the previous week
Tonga's historical rankings
See or edit source data.
Source: World Rugby[6]
Graph updated to 16 January 2023

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Tongan national XV at test level up until 23 July 2022.[7]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
  Argentina 2 0 2 0 0.00% 28 73 −45
  Australia 4 1 3 0 25.00% 42 167 −125
  Australia A 3 0 3 0 0.00% 44 189 −145
  Canada 9 4 5 0 44.44% 188 216 −28
  Chile 2 2 0 0 100.00% 71 40 +31
  Cook Islands 4 4 0 0 100.00% 289 32 +257
  England 4 0 4 0 0.00% 36 241 −139
  England Saxons 1 0 1 0 0.00% 14 41 −27
  Fiji 93 27 63 3 29.03% 1237 1845 −608
  France 6 2 4 0 33.33% 96 172 −76
  French Barbarians 3 2 1 0 67.00% 94 107 -13
  Georgia 7 2 5 0 33.33% 141 119 +22
  Hong Kong 1 1 0 0 100.00% 44 22 +22
  Ireland 2 0 2 0 0.00% 28 72 −44
  Italy 5 2 3 0 40.00% 82 154 −72
  Ivory Coast 1 1 0 0 100.00% 29 11 +18
  Japan 18 9 9 0 50.00% 453 459 −6
  Namibia 2 2 0 0 100.00% 55 35 +20
  New Caledonia 1 1 0 0 100.00% 58 3 +55
  New Zealand 7 0 7 0 0.00% 42 519 −477
  Junior All Blacks 3 0 3 0 0.00% 47 124 −74
  Māori 12 4 8 0 33.33% 165 319 −154
  Papua New Guinea 2 2 0 0 100.00% 131 26 +105
  Portugal 1 1 0 0 100.00% 24 19 +5
  Romania 4 2 2 0 50.00% 84 87 -3
  Samoa 68 27 37 4 39.71% 1019 1257 −238
  Scotland 5 1 4 0 20.00% 72 196 −124
  Scotland XV 2 0 2 0 0.00% 13 67 −55
  Solomon Islands 1 1 0 0 100.00% 92 3 +89
  South Korea 6 6 0 0 100.00% 464 66 +398
  South Africa 2 0 2 0 0.00% 35 104 −69
  Spain 2 2 0 0 100.00% 68 19 +49
  Tahiti 1 1 0 0 100.00% 74 0 +74
  Uruguay 1 1 0 0 100.00% 43 19 +24
  United States 10 9 1 0 88.89% 272 153 +119
  Wales 9 0 9 0 0.00% 108 301 −193
  Wales XV 1 0 1 0 0.00% 7 26 −19
  Zimbabwe 1 1 0 0 100.00% 42 13 +29
Total 299 116 176 7 38.8% 5693 7058 −1365

World Cup recordEdit

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round P W D L F A P W D L F A
   1987 Pool Stage 3 0 0 3 29 98 Automatically qualified
    1991 Did not qualify 3 1 0 2 64 62
  1995 Pool Stage 3 1 0 2 44 90 2 1 0 1 34 26
  1999 Pool Stage 3 1 0 2 47 171 7 2 0 5 317 241
  2003 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 46 178 8 4 0 4 398 178
  2007 Pool Stage 4 2 0 2 89 96 7 3 0 4 329 136
  2011 Pool Stage 4 2 0 2 80 98 Automatically qualified
  2015 Pool Stage 4 1 0 3 70 130
  2019 Pool Stage 4 1 0 3 67 105 4 1 0 3 68 93
  2023 Qualified 4 2 0 2 126 111
Total 8/9 29 8 0 21 472 966 35 14 0 21 1336 847

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

On 7 October, the following 30 players were called up for the 2022 end-of-year rugby union internationals.[8]

Head Coach:   Toutai Kefu

  • Caps Updated: 6 November 2022
Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Jay Fonokalafi Hooker (1995-12-09) 9 December 1995 (age 27) 3   North Harbour
Sam Moli Hooker (1998-12-24) 24 December 1998 (age 24) 7   Moana Pasifika
Paul Ngauamo Hooker (1990-02-19) 19 February 1990 (age 32) 24   Castres
Siegfried Fisi'ihoi Prop (1987-06-08) 8 June 1987 (age 35) 18   Pau
David Lolohea Prop (1992-02-26) 26 February 1992 (age 30) 5   Provence
Tau Koloamatangi Prop (1995-01-03) 3 January 1995 (age 28) 1   Moana Pasifika
Fatongia Paea Prop (2000-01-01) 1 January 2000 (age 23) 0   North Harbour
Ben Tameifuna Prop (1991-08-30) 30 August 1991 (age 31) 21   Bordeaux
Siate Tokolahi Prop (1992-03-16) 16 March 1992 (age 30) 3   Pau
Leva Fifita Lock (1989-07-29) 29 July 1989 (age 33) 25   Connacht
Vaea Fifita Lock (1992-06-17) 17 June 1992 (age 30) 1   Scarlets
Sam Lousi Lock (1991-07-20) 20 July 1991 (age 31) 10   Scarlets
Steve Mafi Lock (1989-12-09) 9 December 1989 (age 33) 34   Oyannax
Lopeti Timani Lock (1990-09-28) 28 September 1990 (age 32) 2   Cardiff
Solomone Funaki Back row (1994-04-25) 25 April 1994 (age 28) 5   Moana Pasifika
Sione Havili Talitui Back row (1998-01-25) 25 January 1998 (age 25) 4   Crusaders
Zane Kapeli Back row (1992-09-28) 28 September 1992 (age 30) 13   Bay of Plenty
Manu Paea Scrum-half (2001-09-17) 17 September 2001 (age 21) 3   Moana Pasifika
Augustine Pulu Scrum-half (1990-01-04) 4 January 1990 (age 33) 1   Hino Red Dolphins
Sonatane Takulua (c) Scrum-half (1991-01-11) 11 January 1991 (age 32) 48   Agen
William Havili Fly-half (1998-09-09) 9 September 1998 (age 24) 4   Moana Pasifika
Otumaka Mausia Fly-half (1997-04-22) 22 April 1997 (age 25) 4   Auckland
Malakai Fekitoa Centre (1992-05-10) 10 May 1992 (age 30) 2   Munster Rugby
George Moala Centre (1990-11-05) 5 November 1990 (age 32) 1   Clermont
Afusipa Taumoepeau Centre (1990-01-26) 26 January 1990 (age 33) 6   Perpignan
Fetuli Paea Centre (1994-08-16) 16 August 1994 (age 28) 4   Highlanders
Tima Fainga'anuku Wing (1997-04-26) 26 April 1997 (age 25) 4   Moana Pasifika
Anzelo Tuitavuki Wing (1998-10-10) 10 October 1998 (age 24) 4   Moana Pasifika
Israel Folau Fullback (1989-04-03) 3 April 1989 (age 33) 1   Urayasu D-Rocks
Charles Piutau Fullback (1991-10-31) 31 October 1991 (age 31) 1   Bristol Bears

CoachesEdit

Current coaching staffEdit

The current coaching staff of the Tongan national team:[9]

Name Nationality Role
Lano Fonua   TON Manager
Toutai Kefu   AUS Head coach
Grant Doorey   AUS Assistant coach (Defence)
John McKee   NZL Assistant coach (Attack)
Semisi Fonua   TON Strength & Conditioning coach
Alejandro Pastor   ARG Strength & Conditioning coach
Dr. Penisimani Poloniati   TON Team doctor
LeeVan Santos   NZL Head Physiotherapist
Siosaia Vakasiuola   TON Physiotherapist
Joh Fifita   TON Performance Analyst
Declan Oorloff   AUS Performance Analyst

Individual all-time recordsEdit

Most capsEdit

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Won Lost Draw %
1. Nili Latu Flanker 2006–2017 48 47 1 28 5 0 1 0 19 28 1 40.62
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2014–present 48 46 2 249 14 37 35 0 18 29 1 41.66
3. Vunga Lilo Fullback 2007–2018 44 41 3 87 12 3 7 0 19 25 0 43.18
4. Siale Piutau Wing 2011–2019 43 41 2 32 6 1 0 0 17 25 1 40.69
5. Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1990–2005 41 40 1 50 8 2 2 0 15 26 0 36.58
6. Kurt Morath Fly-half 2009–present 40 34 6 340 2 48 78 0 18 22 0 47.36
7. Pierre Hola Fly-half 1998–2009 39 38 1 322 12 68 42 3 19 20 0 48.72
Benhur Kivalu Number 8 1998–2005 39 35 4 40 8 0 0 0 14 24 1 37.17
9. Aleki Lutui Hooker 1999–2015 38 30 8 25 5 0 0 0 12 25 1 32.89
10. David Halaifonua Wing 2009–2019 37 30 7 27 4 2 1 0 13 23 1 36.48
Sione Kalamafoni Flanker 2007–2019 37 33 4 10 2 0 0 0 12 25 0 32.43

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most triesEdit

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Fetu'u Vainikolo Wing 2011–2016 28 27 1 85 17 0 0 0
2. Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2014–present 48 46 2 249 14 37 35 0
Josh Taumalolo Centre 1996–2007 26 23 3 118 14 6 12 0
4. Pierre Hola Fly-half 1998–2009 39 38 1 322 12 68 42 3
Vunga Lilo Fullback 2007–2018 44 41 3 87 12 3 7 0
6. Fepikou Tatafu Centre 1996–2002 23 21 2 50 10 0 0 0
7. Viliame Iongi Wing 2011–2016 21 15 6 45 9 0 0 0
Benhur Kivalu Number 8 1998–2005 39 35 4 45 9 0 0 0
Telusa Veainu Wing 2015–present 14 14 0 45 9 0 0 0
10. Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1990–2005 41 40 1 50 8 2 2 0

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Leading point scorersEdit

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Kurt Morath Fly-half 2009–present 40 34 6 340 2 48 78 0
2. Pierre Hola Fly-half 1998–2009 39 38 1 322 12 68 42 3
3. Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2014–present 48 46 2 249 14 37 35 0
4. Sateki Tu'ipulotu Fullback 1993–2003 20 19 1 190 5 33 32 1
5. Fangatapu Apikotoa Fly-half 2004–2014 30 20 10 147 2 40 19 0
6. Josh Taumalolo Centre 1996–2007 26 23 3 118 14 6 12 0
7. Kusitafu Tonga Fullback 1996–2001 13 12 1 114 1 32 15 0
8. Vunga Lilo Fullback 2007–2018 44 41 3 87 12 3 7 0
9. Fetu'u Vainikolo Wing 2011–2016 28 27 1 85 17 0 0 0
10. Fepikou Tatafu Centre 1996–2002 23 21 2 50 10 0 0 0
Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1990–2005 41 40 1 50 8 2 2 0

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points in a matchEdit

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Pierre Hola Centre 44 2 17 0 0   South Korea   Nuku'alofa 22 March 2003
2. Fangatapu Apikotoa Fly-half 30 2 10 0 0   South Korea   Henderson 10 February 2007
3. Sateki Tu'ipulotu Fullback 27 1 8 2 0   South Korea   Seoul 4 May 1999
4. Benhur Kivalu Fly-half 25 5 0 0 0   South Korea   Nuku'alofa 22 March 2003
5. Pierre Hola Fullback 24 0 9 1 1   Papua New Guinea   Nuku'alofa 7 December 2002
6. Gustavo Tonga Fullback 23 1 9 0 0   Cook Islands   Nuku'alofa 5 July 1997
7. Viliame Iongi Centre 20 4 0 0 0   United States   Esher 8 June 2011
Kurt Morath Fly-half 20 0 4 4 0   Fiji   Lautoka 2 July 2011
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 20 1 3 3 0   Samoa   Nuku'alofa 1 July 2017
10. 3 players on 19 points

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries in a matchEdit

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Benhur Kivalu Number 8 25 5 0 0 0   South Korea   Nuku'alofa 22 March 2003
2. Viliame Iongi Wing 20 4 0 0 0   United States   Esher 8 June 2011
3. Josh Taumalolo Fly-half 15 3 0 0 0   Cook Islands   Nuku'alofa 5 July 1997
Josh Taumalolo Fullback 17 3 1 0 0   Georgia   Tbilisi 28 March 1999
Jonathan Koloi Flanker 15 3 0 0 0   South Korea   Seoul 4 May 1999
Viliami Hakalo Wing 15 3 0 0 0   Cook Islands   Raratonga 24 June 2006
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 15 3 0 0 0   Hong Kong   Sunshine Coast 23 July 2022
8. 49 players on 2 tries

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most matches as captainEdit

# Player Pos Span Mat Won Lost Draw % Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Nili Latu Flanker 2006–2016 42 15 26 1 36.90 23 4 0 1 0
2. Siale Piutau Wing 2015–2019 19 9 10 0 47.36 22 4 1 0 0
3. Inoke Afeaki Lock 2001–2003 12 4 8 0 33.33 15 3 0 0 0
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2017–present 12 2 10 0 16.66 51 5 1 8 0
5. Fakahau Valu Flanker 1977–1987 11 0 11 0 0.00 12 3 0 0 0
6. Aleki Lutui Hooker 2004–2011 9 1 8 0 11.11 5 1 0 0 0
Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1999–2001 9 4 5 0 44.44 15 3 0 0 0
8. Sione Mafi Pahulu Number 8 1973–1975 7 1 6 0 14.28 15 3 0 1 0
9. Siaosi Atiola Number 8 1987–1990 6 1 4 1 25.00 4 1 0 0 0
10. Mana Otai Number 8 1995 5 3 2 0 60.00 5 1 0 0 0
Fe'ao Vunipola Hooker 1994–1998 5 2 3 0 40.00 0 0 0 0 0

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Youngest playersEdit

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 17 years and 292 days   Fiji   Nukualofa 24 March 1990
2. Viliami Hakalo (Wing) 18 years and 182 days   Japan   Fukuoka 4 June 2006
3. Sione Kalamafoni (Flanker) 18 years and 268 days   South Korea   Henderson 10 February 2007
4. Soane Havea Scrum-half 18 years and 292 days   New Zealand   North Shore City 16 June 2000
5. Semi Taupeaafe Wing 18 years and 317 days   Fiji   Suva 11 June 1991
6. Sinali Latu Number 8 18 years and 320 days   Fiji   Suva 7 July 1984
7. Unuoi Vaʻenuku Centre 19 years and 51 days   France   Pretoria 26 May 1995
8. Pita Alatini Centre 19 years and 119 days   Samoa   Nuku'alofa 8 July 1995
9. Tevita 'Ahoafi (Scrum-half) 19 years and 171 days   Australia A   Sydney 25 May 2007
10. Isi Tapueluelu Centre 19 years and 176 days   Fiji   Nuku'alofa 24 March 1990

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Oldest playersEdit

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Fakahau Valu Flanker 37 years and 362 days   Ireland   Brisbane 3 June 1987
2. Polutele Tu'ihalamaka Lock 37 years and 249 days   Canada   Napier 24 May 1987
3. Aleki Lutui (Hooker) 37 years and 95 days   Argentina   Leicester 4 October 2015
4. Kurt Morath Fly-Half 36 years and 358 days   England   London 6 November 2021
5. Joe Tuineau Lock 36 years and 302 days   Samoa   Suva 16 June 2018
6. Hale T-Pole Lock 36 years and 152 days   Namibia   Exeter 29 September 2015
7. Elvis Taione Hooker 36 years and 76 days   Canada   Lautoka 8 August 2019
8. Rudi Kapeli Hooker 35 years and 311 days   Australia   Brisbane 4 July 1993
9. Tukulua Lokotui Lock 35 years and 282 days   New Zealand   Newcastle 9 October 2015
10. Vunga Lilo Wing 35 years and 269 days   Georgia   Tbilisi 24 November 2018

Last updated: Tonga vs Uruguay, 19 November 2022. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Kit historyEdit

Tonga usually wears a home kit consisting of a red shirt, white shorts and red socks and an away kit with the reversed colours. In the 1999 Rugby World Cup, Tonga wore an all-red home kit. Since 2007, Tongan traditional designs, similar to the ones found on the tapa cloths, were incorporated on the jersey design.

Kit manufacturers:

  • 1974–1980s Umbro
  • 1980s–1999 Canterbury
  • 2000–2002 Carisbrook
  • 2003–2005 Sekem
  • 2005–2008 KooGa
  • 2008 Samurai Sportswear^a
  • 2008–2010 Aoniu^b
  • 2011–2012 KooGa/BLK
  • 2012–2015 Kukri
  • 2016–2020 Mizuno
  • June 2021-November 2021 Siomai Print
  • November 2021-present Force XV
  • ^a Tonga wore Samurai Sportswear kits in the matches against Maori All Blacks and Japan in 2008
  • ^b Tonga wore kits manufactured by the local brand Aoniu in the 2008 end-of-year international tours.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1987–1995 Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1987–1995 Away
 
 
 
 
 
 
1999 RWC Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2003 Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2003 Away
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2007 Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2009 Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2011 Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2015 Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2015 Away
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017 Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2017 Away
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2019 Home
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2019 Away

CoachesEdit

Name Span Mat Won Lost Draw %
  Kelepi Tupou[10] 1983
  Fred Wolfgramm[11] 1985
  Prince Mailefihi 1986–1987
  Peseti Ma'afu[12][13] 1991
  Sione Taumoepeau[14] 1994-1995
  Fakahau Valu 1995
  Polutele Tuʻihalamaka 1999
  David Waterston 1999-2000[15]
  Vaita Ueleni 2000–2001
  Jim Love 2001–2003 19 6 13 0 31.58
  Willie Ofahengaue 2004–2005 8 0 8 0 0.00
  Adam Leach 2006–2007 7 5 2 0 71.43
  Quddus Fielea 2007–2010 16 5 11 0 31.25
  Isitolo Maka 2010–2011 14 7 7 0 50.00
  Toutai Kefu (caretaker) 2012 3 1 2 0 33.33
  Mana Otai 2012–2015 24 11 12 1 47.91
  Toutai Kefu 2016–present

Notable former playersEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "New Zealand Maori vs Tonga - Match Statistics - Tonga tour in New Zealand 1969 1969 - 15 Aug, 1969 - ESPN".
  2. ^ "The Head Hunters: Tongan rugby". BBC. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  3. ^ "The day Wales' hardest rugby players were left sprawled on the floor and running for safety". Wales Online. 16 November 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2011: France go through despite shock loss to Tonga". Guardian. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  5. ^ Haka and Sipi Tau set Lang Park alight ABC
  6. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  7. ^ Tonga rugby stats
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Tonga Rugby's Coaching Staff". rnz.co.nz. 15 October 2021.
  10. ^ Tonga 1979 tour of New Zealand squad on The Tonga Chronicle
  11. ^ "2019 Rugby World Cup Ikale Tahi Mate Maa Tonga Supporters Page" – via Facebook.
  12. ^ Fiji wins spot Nuku'alofa Times, 12 July 2017
  13. ^ Photo of the Tonga 1991 squad on The Tonga Chronicle
  14. ^ Rugby Union: Preview of the 16 nations in this summer's World Cup
  15. ^ "Tonga 22 Fiji 25, 2000 Epson Cup - Teivovo.com". fijirugbyunion.com. Retrieved 29 April 2021.

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