Tonga national rugby union team

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Tonga
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)ʻIkale Tahi
EmblemWhite dove
UnionTonga Rugby Football Union
Head coachToutai Kefu
CaptainSiale Piutau
Most capsNili Latu (54)
Top scorerKurt Morath (338)
Top try scorerFetu'u Vainikolo (15)
Home stadiumTeufaiva Sport Stadium
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current13 (as of 23 November 2020)
Highest9 (2011)
Lowest20 (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
(Albany, New Zealand; 16 June 2000)
New Zealand 102–0 Tonga
(Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand; 3 July 2021)
World Cup
Appearances8 (First in 1987)
Best resultPool stage, 1987, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019
Websitewww.tongarugbyunion.net

The Tonga national rugby union team represents Tonga in men's international rugby union it's 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. 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.

History[edit]

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 Māori 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"[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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 Tau[edit]

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.[1]

Wins against Tier 1 nations[edit]

30 June 1973 Australia  11–16 Tonga Tonga Australia Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane  
Try: Cole
Tindall
Pen: McGill
Report Try: Kavapalu
Latu
Mafi Pahulu
Vave
Attendance: 9,563
Referee: Australia Bob Burnett (Australia)
16 June 1999 Tonga Tonga 20–16  France Tonga 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: Wales Clayton Thomas (Wales)
10 October 1999 Italy  25–28 Tonga Tonga England 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: Republic of Ireland Dave McHugh (Ireland)
1 October 2011 France  14–19 Tonga Tonga New Zealand 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: Australia Steve Walsh (Australia)
24 November 2012 Scotland  15–21 Tonga Tonga Scotland 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: France Mathieu Raynal (France)
26 November 2016 Italy  17–19  Tonga Italy 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 record[edit]

Top 20 as of 20 September 2021[2]
Rank Change* Team Points
1 Increase1  New Zealand 091.15
2 Decrease1  South Africa 090.95
3 Increase2  Australia 085.65
4 Decrease1  England 085.44
5 Decrease1  Ireland 084.85
6 Steady  France 083.87
7 Steady  Argentina 082.03
8 Steady  Scotland 082.02
9 Steady  Wales 080.59
10 Steady  Japan 079.13
11 Steady  Fiji 076.87
12 Steady  Georgia 073.73
13 Steady  Samoa 073.59
14 Steady  Italy 070.65
15 Steady  Tonga 068.57
16 Steady  United States 067.12
17 Steady  Uruguay 067.02
18 Steady  Romania 066.22
19 Steady  Portugal 065.67
20 Steady  Spain 064.82
21 Steady  Canada 062.08
22 Steady  Hong Kong 061.23
23 Steady  Russia 060.94
24 Steady  Netherlands 059.30
25 Steady  Namibia 059.04
26 Steady  Brazil 056.32
27 Steady  Belgium 056.16
28 Steady  Chile 055.20
29 Steady   Switzerland 054.12
30 Steady  Germany 053.13
* Change from the previous week
Tonga's historical rankings

See or edit raw graph data.

Source: World Rugby[2]
Graph updated to 20 September 2021

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Tongan national XV at test level up until 25 July 2021.[3]

Opponent Played Won Lost Drawn Win % For Aga Diff
 Argentina 2 0 2 0 0% 28 73 −45
 Australia 4 1 3 0 25% 42 167 −125
 Australia A 1 0 1 0 0.00% 15 60 −45
 Canada 9 4 5 0 44.44% 188 216 −28
 Chile 1 1 0 0 100.00% 32 30 +2
 Cook Islands 4 4 0 0 100.00% 289 32 +257
 England 3 0 3 0 0.00% 33 172 −139
 England Saxons 1 0 1 0 0.00% 14 41 −27
 Fiji 92 27 62 3 30.97% 1237 1809 −572
 France 6 2 4 0 33.33% 96 172 −76
 Georgia 7 2 5 0 33.33% 141 119 +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% 55 35 +20
 New Caledonia 1 1 0 0 100% 58 3 +55
 New Zealand 7 0 7 0 0.00% 42 520 −478
 Junior All Blacks 2 0 2 0 0.00% 23 77 −54
 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 3 2 1 0 66.67% 64 55 +9
 Samoa 67 27 36 4 40.3% 1001 1223 −222
 Scotland 4 1 3 0 25.00% 58 136 −78
 Scotland XV 2 0 2 0 0.00% 13 67 −55
 Solomon Islands 1 1 0 0 0.00% 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 1 1 0 0 100.00% 28 13 +15
 Tahiti 1 1 0 0 100.00% 74 0 +74
 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 290 112 171 7 38.62% 5466 6742 −1276

World Cup record[edit]

World Cup record World Cup Qualification record
Year Round P W D L F A P W D L F A
AustraliaNew Zealand 1987 Pool Stage 3 0 0 3 29 98 Automatically qualified
United KingdomRepublic of IrelandFrance 1991 Did not qualify 3 1 0 2 64 62
South Africa 1995 Pool Stage 3 1 0 2 44 90 2 1 0 1 34 26
Wales 1999 Pool Stage 3 1 0 2 47 171 7 2 0 5 317 241
Australia 2003 Pool Stage 4 0 0 4 46 178 8 4 0 4 398 178
France 2007 Pool Stage 4 2 0 2 89 96 7 3 0 4 329 136
New Zealand 2011 Pool Stage 4 2 0 2 80 98 Automatically qualified
England 2015 Pool Stage 4 1 0 3 70 130
Japan 2019 Pool Stage 4 1 0 3 67 105 4 1 0 3 68 93
France 2023 3 1 0 2 82 89
Total 8/9 29 8 0 21 472 966 34 13 0 21 1292 825

Current squad[edit]

On 17 June 2021, a 30-man squad was announced for the matches against New Zealand and Samoa.[4]

Note: Caps correct as of 24 July 2021

Player Position Date of birth (age) Caps Club/province
Siua Maile Hooker (1997-02-18) 18 February 1997 (age 24) 6 New Zealand Manawatu
Sam Moli Hooker (1998-12-24) 24 December 1998 (age 22) 3 New Zealand Tasman
Jethro Felemi Prop (1994-01-01) 1 January 1994 (age 27) 5 Australia GPS
Jay Fonokalafi Prop N/A 2 New Zealand Grammar Tech
Lua Li Prop (1991-05-11) 11 May 1991 (age 30) 1 United States San Diego Legion
Duke Nginingini Prop N/A 4 New Zealand Counties Manukau
Sila Puafisi Prop (1988-04-15) 15 April 1988 (age 33) 31 New Zealand Counties Manukau
Ben Tameifuna Prop (1991-08-30) 30 August 1991 (age 30) 16 France Bordeaux
Don Lolo Lock N/A 3 New Zealand Taieri
Harrison Mataele Lock N/A 3 New Zealand Grammar Tech
Sione Tuipulotu Lock (1997-12-02) 2 December 1997 (age 23) 4 New Zealand Auckland
Solomone Funaki Loose forward (1994-04-25) 25 April 1994 (age 27) 1 New Zealand Hawke's Bay
Mateaki Kafatolu Loose forward (1989-08-11) 11 August 1989 (age 32) 4 New Zealand Wellington
Zane Kapeli Loose forward (1992-09-28) 28 September 1992 (age 28) 12 New Zealand Chiefs
Nasi Manu Loose forward (1988-08-15) 15 August 1988 (age 33) 9 New Zealand Otago
Viliami Taulani Loose forward (1997-01-17) 17 January 1997 (age 24) 4 New Zealand Chiefs
Maama Vaipulu Loose forward (1989-07-21) 21 July 1989 (age 32) 13 France Castres Olympique
Leon Fukofuka Scrum-half (1994-09-08) 8 September 1994 (age 27) 14 Australia NHRU Wildfires
Aisea Halo Scrum-half (1993-06-29) 29 June 1993 (age 28) 1 New Zealand North Harbour
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half (1991-01-11) 11 January 1991 (age 30) 42 France Toulon
James Faiva Fly-half (1994-06-13) 13 June 1994 (age 27) 12 Italy Petrarca
Kali Hala Fly-half (1991-03-06) 6 March 1991 (age 30) 12 New Zealand Counties Manukau
Fine Inisi Centre (1998-05-19) 19 May 1998 (age 23) 4 New Zealand North Harbour
Hosea Saumaki Centre (1992-05-10) 10 May 1992 (age 29) 3 Japan Canon Eagles
Walter Fifita Wing (1997-06-06) 6 June 1997 (age 24) 3 New Zealand North Harbour
Viliami Fine Wing (1997-12-01) 1 December 1997 (age 23) 1 New Zealand Otago
Nikolai Foliaki Wing (1997-12-25) 25 December 1997 (age 23) 4 New Zealand Counties Manukau
John Tapueluelu Wing (1996-04-07) 7 April 1996 (age 25) 1 New Zealand Otago
Nafi Tuitavake Wing (1989-01-29) 29 January 1989 (age 32) 17 New Zealand Massey
Sam Vaka Wing (1992-10-26) 26 October 1992 (age 28) 2 France Agen
Mali Hingano Fullback (1992-01-27) 27 January 1992 (age 29) 7 France Bayonne
Penikolo Latu Fullback (1993-06-17) 17 June 1993 (age 28) 8 New Zealand Southland

Individual all-time records[edit]

Most caps[edit]

# 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
2. Vunga Lilo Fullback 2007–2018 44 41 3 87 12 3 7 0 19 25 0 43.18
3. Siale Piutau Wing 2011–2019 43 41 2 32 6 1 0 0 17 25 1 40.69
4. Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2014–present 42 40 2 231 11 37 34 0 17 24 1 41.66
5. Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1990–2005 41 40 1 50 8 2 2 0 15 26 0 36.58
6. 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
8. Aleki Lutui Hooker 1999–2015 38 30 8 25 5 0 0 0 12 25 1 32.89
Kurt Morath Fly-half 2009–2019 38 32 6 340 2 48 78 0 18 20 0 47.36
10. David Halaifonua Wing 2009–present 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: Cook Islands vs Tonga, 24 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries[edit]

# 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. Josh Taumalolo Centre 1996–2007 26 23 3 118 14 6 12 0
3. 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
5. Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2014–present 42 40 2 231 11 37 34 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
9. Telusa Veainu Wing 2015–present 12 12 0 40 8 0 0 0
Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1990–2005 41 40 1 50 8 2 2 0

Last updated: Cook Islands vs Tonga, 24 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Leading point scorers[edit]

# Player Pos Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop
1. Kurt Morath Fly-half 2009–2019 38 32 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 42 40 2 231 11 37 34 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: Cook Islands vs Tonga, 24 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points in a match[edit]

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

Last updated: Cook Islands vs Tonga, 24 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries in a match[edit]

# Player Pos Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop Opposition Venue Date
1. Benhur Kivalu Number 8 25 5 0 0 0  South Korea Tonga Nuku'alofa 22 March 2003
2. Viliame Iongi Wing 20 4 0 0 0  United States England Esher 8 June 2011
3. Josh Taumalolo Fly-half 15 3 0 0 0  Cook Islands Tonga Nuku'alofa 5 July 1997
Josh Taumalolo Fullback 17 3 1 0 0  Georgia Georgia (country) Tbilisi 28 March 1999
Jonathan Koloi Flanker 15 3 0 0 0  South Korea South Korea Seoul 4 May 1999
Viliami Hakalo Wing 15 3 0 0 0  Cook Islands Cook Islands Raratonga 24 June 2006
7. 48 players on 2 tries

Last updated: Cook Islands vs Tonga, 24 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most matches as captain[edit]

# 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
4. Fakahau Valu Flanker 1977–1987 11 0 11 0 0.00 12 3 0 0 0
5. 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
7. Sione Mafi Pahulu Number 8 1973–1975 7 1 6 0 14.28 15 3 0 1 0
8. Siaosi Atiola Number 8 1987–1990 6 1 4 1 25.00 4 1 0 0 0
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2017–present 6 1 5 0 16.66 33 2 1 7 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: Cook Islands vs Tonga, 24 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Youngest players[edit]

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

Last updated: Cook Islands vs Tonga, 24 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Oldest players[edit]

# Player Pos Age Opposition Venue Date
1. Fakahau Valu Flanker 37 years and 362 days  Ireland Australia Brisbane 3 June 1987
2. Polutele Tu'ihalamaka Lock 37 years and 249 days  Canada Australia Napier 24 May 1987
3. Aleki Lutui (Hooker) 37 years and 95 days  Argentina England Leicester 4 October 2015
4. Joe Tuineau Lock 36 years and 302 days  Samoa Fiji Suva 16 June 2018
5. Hale T-Pole Lock 36 years and 152 days  Namibia England Exeter 29 September 2015
6. Elvis Taione Hooker 36 years and 76 days  Canada Fiji Lautoka 8 August 2019
7. Rudi Kapeli Hooker 35 years and 311 days  Australia Australia Brisbane 4 July 1993
8. Tukulua Lokotui Lock 35 years and 282 days  New Zealand England Newcastle 9 October 2015
9. Vunga Lilo Wing 35 years and 269 days  Georgia Georgia (country) Tbilisi 24 November 2018
10. Kuli Faletau Lock 35 years and 185 days  Canada Tonga Nuku'alofa 3 July 1999

Last updated: Cook Islands vs Tonga, 24 July 2021. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Kit history[edit]

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
  • 2021-present Siomai Print
  • ^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

Coaches[edit]

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

Notable former players[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Haka and Sipi Tau set Lang Park alight ABC
  2. ^ a b "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  3. ^ Tonga rugby stats
  4. ^ "Tonga names 15 new caps to face All Blacks, Samoa". RNZ. 17 June 2021. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  5. ^ "2019 Rugby World Cup Ikale Tahi Mate Maa Tonga Supporters Page" – via Facebook.
  6. ^ "Tonga 22 Fiji 25, 2000 Epson Cup - Teivovo.com". fijirugbyunion.com. Retrieved 29 April 2021.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]