Head coach for the Townsville and Districts Mendi Blackhawks Kristian Woolf yesterday announced his Tongan National League team for the Rugby League World Cup later this month.
Jason Taumalolo, Andrew Fifita, Manu Ma’u, David Fusitu’a, Sio Siua Taukeiaho are some surprise names who made the list – delighting fans of international rugby league.
Woolf said he was looking forward to taking his new-look side to Tonga.
“It’s been a big couple of days to be honest,” Woolf said.
“The boys have sacrificed a lot not playing for Australia or New Zealand, in particular.
“This just shows how much pride and passion there is amongst the Tongans.
“It will be outstanding for Tonga in terms of rugby league and even more exciting for Tonga as a country.
“There was already excitement about the team travelling to Tonga next week, and that’s got even bigger since these guys have decided that they will going to play for Tonga and make the trip.”
Tonga’s first game will be against Scotland in Cairns on October 29.
Tongan Rugby League Squad:
Andrew Fifita, Mahe Fonua, David Fusitu’a, Siliva Havilli, Ata Hingano, Will Hopoate, Konrad Hurrell, Michael Jennings, Solomone Kata, Sione Katoa, Samisoni Langi, Tuimoala Lolohea, Sika Manu, Manu Ma’u, Sam Moa, Ben Murdoch Masila, Joe Ofahengaue, Tevita Pangai Junior, Ukuma Ta’ai, Sio Suia Taukieaho, Jason Taumalolo, Peni Terepo, Daniel Tupou, Manu Vatuvei