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Tongans Back After 5 Years

  The Tongan men’s sevens team is building strength in numbers in the lead-up to their World Series return. Tonga will compete at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton tomorrow,
25 Jan 2019 10:39
Tongans Back After 5 Years

 

The Tongan men’s sevens team is building strength in numbers in the lead-up to their World Series return.

Tonga will compete at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton tomorrow, marking their first appearance on the global circuit in five years.

Head coach Tevita Tu’ifua said the team held an open trial in Auckland before Christmas for any players keen to be involved with the national team and received a great response.

“We managed to get a good group of kids, young boys from the age of under- 25 down to 18 interested and we managed to pull up two teams now,” he told Radio New Zealand.

Tu’ifua said the interest in the Tongan sevens programme has been growing since they came fifth at the Oceania Sevens in Suva last November.

This qualified them for the Hamilton and Sydney legs of the series and the Hong Kong world series qualifier.

“The interest now has started to show and the commitment and the competition now has started to get a bit healthier,” laughed the former ‘Ikale Tahi international.

““Hamilton is quite a nice stadium to play and having the crowd right next to you on the field will be a big boost if we have the numbers there.

We’re expecting a big crowd however we’re still focusing on our performance on the field.”

Tonga face a daunting start to their Hamilton 7s campaign against World Series leaders the United States before rounding off pool play against England and Pacific rivals Samoa.

 

– Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj



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