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Government requests intervention by RLIF

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 26/09/2019

Government have requested and urged Rugby league International Federation to assist Tonga Ma’a Tonga Rugby league in providing a stabilizing environment for the rugby league sector here in Tonga.

A letter signed by Hon. Semisi Sika – the Acting Prime Minister to the chairman of Tonga National Rugby league board stated, that the government’s move is due to the unfortunate status between TNRL and the interrelated league stakeholders.

This includes – TNRL has lost the trust and support of its members the Tongan rugby league clubs and the players who represent the Kingdom of Tonga, public outcry as a result of certain decisions that the board has made amongst others.

Sika said, as a result of these actions – it will be unable to field a national team with the best Tongan players.

Sika also highlighted in the letter – that this is the government’s position – as they want to ensure the transition from the current state to an environment most appropriate for all parties.

However, NRL reported, that this move follows a trip to Tonga last week by RLIF chairman Nigel Wood, who met with Mr. Sika to discuss concerns about the viability of the October 26 Test against Great Britain in Hamilton and November 2 Oceania Cup clash with Australia at Eden Park.

The same report also stated that Tonga Sports Council has been endorsed as the interim body responsible for selection, coaching and management of the Test team.

Mate Ma’a Tonga players, led by Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita, are now expected to return after refusing to play until TNRL chairman George Koloamatangi and secretary William Edwards stood down.

© Radio and Television Tonga News