Tonga national rugby union team

Last updated

Tonga
Logo Tonga Rugby.svg
Nickname(s)ʻIkale Tahi (The Sea Eagles)
Emblem White dove
Union Tonga Rugby Union
Head coach Toutai Kefu
Captain Sonatane Takulua
Most caps Nili Latu (54)
Top scorer Kurt Morath (340)
Top try scorer Fetuʻu Vainikolo (18)
Home stadium Teufaiva Sport Stadium
Kit left arm tonga19h.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga19h.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm tonga19h.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
First colours
Kit left arm tonga19a.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga19a.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm tonga19a.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current16 (as of 2 June 2022)
Highest9 (2011, 2012)
Lowest20 (2005, 2006)
First international
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 9–6 Fiji  Flag of Fiji (1924-1970).svg
(Nuku'alofa, Tonga; 25 August 1924)
Biggest win
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 119–0 South Korea  Flag of South Korea.svg
(Nuku'alofa, Tonga; 22 March 2003)
Biggest defeat
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 102–0 Tonga  Flag of Tonga.svg
(Auckland, New Zealand; 16 June 2000)
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 102–0 Tonga  Flag of Tonga.svg
(Auckland, New Zealand; 3 July 2021)
World Cup
Appearances9 (First in 1987 )
Best resultPool stage (1987, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019, 2023)

The Tonga national rugby union team (Tongan : timi feohi ʻakapulu fakafonua ʻa Tonga) represents the Tonga Rugby Union 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 challenge – 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.

Contents

History

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 Tau

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 nations

Tonga have recorded six wins against tier 1 opposition.

30 June 1973 Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg11–16 Flag of Tonga.svg Tonga Flag of Australia (converted).svg Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane  
Try: Cole
Tindall
Pen: McGill
Report Try: Kavapalu
Latu
Mafi Pahulu
Vave
Attendance: 9,563
Referee: Flag of Australia (converted).svg Bob Burnett (Australia)
16 June 1999Tonga Flag of Tonga.svg 20–16Flag of France.svg  France Flag of Tonga.svg 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: Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Clayton Thomas (Wales)
10 October 1999 Italy  Flag of Italy.svg25–28 Flag of Tonga.svg Tonga Flag of England.svg 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: Flag of Ireland.svg Dave McHugh (Ireland)
1 October 2011 France  Flag of France.svg14–19 Flag of Tonga.svg Tonga Flag of New Zealand.svg 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: Flag of Australia (converted).svg Steve Walsh (Australia)
24 November 2012 Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg15–21 Flag of Tonga.svg Tonga Flag of Scotland.svg 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: Flag of France.svg Mathieu Raynal (France)
26 November 2016 Italy  Flag of Italy.svg17–19Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Flag of Italy.svg 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

Top 20 as of 25 December 2023 [6]
RankChange*TeamPoints
1Steady2.svgFlag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 094.54
2Steady2.svgIRFU flag.svg  Ireland 090.57
3Steady2.svgFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 089.80
4Steady2.svgFlag of France.svg  France 087.81
5Steady2.svgFlag of England.svg  England 085.46
6Steady2.svgFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 083.43
7Steady2.svgFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 080.68
8Steady2.svgFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 080.64
9Steady2.svgFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 077.48
10Steady2.svgFlag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 076.38
11Steady2.svgFlag of Italy.svg  Italy 075.93
12Steady2.svgFlag of Japan.svg  Japan 074.27
13Steady2.svgFlag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 072.78
14Steady2.svgFlag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 072.68
15Steady2.svgFlag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 072.23
16Steady2.svgFlag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 071.57
17Steady2.svgFlag of the United States.svg  United States 067.94
18Steady2.svgFlag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 067.39
19Steady2.svgFlag of Romania.svg  Romania 063.28
20Steady2.svgFlag of Spain.svg  Spain 062.86
21Steady2.svgFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 060.90
22Steady2.svgFlag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 060.56
23Steady2.svgFlag of Chile.svg  Chile 060.49
24Steady2.svgFlag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 059.80
25Steady2.svgFlag of Russia.svg  Russia 058.06
26Steady2.svgFlag of Switzerland (Pantone).svg   Switzerland 056.29
27Steady2.svgFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 055.84
28Steady2.svgFlag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 055.37
29Steady2.svgFlag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 054.58
30Steady2.svgFlag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 053.46
* Change from the previous week
Tonga's historical rankings
See or edit source data.
Source: World Rugby [6]
Graph updated to 25 December 2023

Below is table of the representative rugby matches played by a Tongan national XV at test level up until 8 October 2023. [7]

OpponentPlayedWonLostDrawnWin %ForAgaDiff
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 20200.00%2873−45
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 413025.00%42167−125
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia A 413025%71210−139
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 1156045.45%238254−16
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 2200100.00%7140+31
Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands 4400100.00%28932+257
Flag of England.svg  England 40400.00%36241−205
Flag of England.svg  England Saxons 10100.00%1441−27
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 942764328.72%12571881−624
Flag of France.svg  France 624033.33%96172−76
Flag of France.svg French Barbarians 321067.00%94107-13
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 725033.33%141119+22
Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong 1100100.00%4422+22
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 30300.00%44131−87
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 523040.00%82154−72
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg  Ivory Coast 1100100.00%2911+18
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 1899050.00%453459−6
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 2200100.00%5535+20
Flags of New Caledonia.svg  New Caledonia 1100100.00%583+55
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 70700.00%42519−477
Flag of New Zealand.svg  Junior All Blacks 30300.00%48124−76
Flag of New Zealand.svg  Māori 1248033.33%165319−154
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea 2200100.00%13126+105
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 1100100.00%2419+5
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 532060%129111+18
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 692738439.13%10281291−263
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 615016.67%89241−152
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland XV 20200.00%1367−54
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands 1100100.00%923+89
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 6600100.00%46466+398
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 30300.00%53153−100
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 2200100.00%6819+49
Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti 1100100.00%740+74
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 1100100.00%4319+24
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 1091088.89%272153+119
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 90900.00%108301−193
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales XV 10100.00%726−19
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe 1100100.00%4213+29
Total315121187738.41%60347622−1588

World Cup record

Rugby World Cup Qualification
YearRoundPldWDLPFPASquadPosPldWDLPFPA
Flag of New Zealand.svg Flag of Australia (converted).svg 1987 Pool Stage30032998 Squad Invited
Flag of England.svg Flag of France.svg IRFU flag.svg Flag of Scotland.svg Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 1991 Did not qualify3rd31026462
Flag of South Africa.svg 1995 Pool Stage31024490 Squad 1st21013426
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 1999 Pool Stage310247171 Squad 4th7205317241
Flag of Australia (converted).svg 2003 Pool Stage400446178 Squad 3rd8404398178
Flag of France.svg 2007 Pool Stage42028996 Squad 3rd7304329136
Flag of New Zealand.svg 2011 Pool Stage42028098 Squad Automatically qualified
Flag of England.svg 2015 Pool Stage410370130 Squad Automatically qualified
Flag of Japan.svg 2019 Pool Stage410367105 Squad 2nd41036893
Flag of France.svg 2023 Pool Stage410396177 Squad 2nd4202126111
TotalPool Stage339024568114335140211336847
 Champions    Runners-up    Third place    Fourth placeHome venue

Pacific Nations Cup

Tonga previously competed in the Pacific Tri-Nations winning three tournaments. The Pacific Nations Cup replaced the Tri-Nations tournament in 2006. Tonga have yet to win a tournament.

TournamentWonDrawnLostTonga finish
2006 2024th / 5
2007 1045th / 6
2008 1046th / 6
2009 0045th / 5
2010 0034th / 4
2011 2012nd / 4
2012 1023rd / 4
2013 2023rd / 5
2014 0113rd / 3
2015 2013rd / 6
2016 0023rd / 3
2017 1012nd / 3
2018 1012nd / 4
2019 1025th / 6
2022 0034th / 4
2023 0034th / 4
Total141360 titles

Players

Current squad

On 21 August, Tonga announced their 33-player squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Head Coach: Flag of Australia (converted).svg Toutai Kefu

Player Position Date of birth (age)CapsClub/province
Siua Maile Hooker (1997-02-18) 18 February 1997 (age 26)15 Flag of Italy.svg Benetton
Sam Moli Hooker (1998-12-24) 24 December 1998 (age 25)16 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Paul Ngauamo Hooker (1990-02-19) 19 February 1990 (age 33)31 Flag of France.svg Castres
Joe Apikotoa Prop (1996-07-18) 18 July 1996 (age 27)5 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Siegfried Fisi'ihoi Prop (1987-06-08) 8 June 1987 (age 36)26 Flag of France.svg Pau
Feao Fotuaika Prop (1993-04-23) 23 April 1993 (age 30)5 Flag of France.svg Lyon
Tau Koloamatangi Prop (1995-01-03) 3 January 1995 (age 28)9 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Paula Latu Prop (1996-02-14) 14 February 1996 (age 27)2 Flag of New Zealand.svg Southland
Ben Tameifuna Prop (1991-08-30) 30 August 1991 (age 32)32 Flag of France.svg Bordeaux
Adam Coleman Lock (1991-10-07) 7 October 1991 (age 32)3 Flag of France.svg Bordeaux
Leva Fifita Lock (1989-07-29) 29 July 1989 (age 34)33 IRFU flag.svg Connacht
Sam Lousi Lock (1991-07-20) 20 July 1991 (age 32)16 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Scarlets
Steve Mafi Lock (1989-12-09) 9 December 1989 (age 34)41 Flag of France.svg Oyonnax
Semisi Paea Lock (1999-04-17) 17 April 1999 (age 24)7 Flag of the United States.svg New England Free Jacks
Vaea Fifita Back row (1992-06-17) 17 June 1992 (age 31)10 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Scarlets
Sione Havili Talitui Back row (1998-01-25) 25 January 1998 (age 25)14 Flag of New Zealand.svg Crusaders
Solomone Funaki Back row (1994-04-25) 25 April 1994 (age 29)14 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Tanginoa Halaifonua Back row (1996-09-20) 20 September 1996 (age 27)15 Flag of France.svg Stade Français
Sione Vailanu Back row (1995-01-27) 27 January 1995 (age 28)15 Flag of Scotland.svg Glasgow Warriors
Manu Paea Scrum-half (2001-09-17) 17 September 2001 (age 22)10 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Augustine Pulu Scrum-half (1990-01-04) 4 January 1990 (age 33)6 Flag of Japan.svg Hino Red Dolphins
Sonatane Takulua (c) Scrum-half (1991-01-11) 11 January 1991 (age 32)57 Flag of France.svg Agen
William Havili Fly-half (1998-09-09) 9 September 1998 (age 25)14 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Otumaka Mausia Fly-half (1997-04-22) 22 April 1997 (age 26)11 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Western Sydney Two Blues
Pita Ahki Centre (1992-09-24) 24 September 1992 (age 31)7 Flag of France.svg Toulouse
Malakai Fekitoa Centre (1992-05-10) 10 May 1992 (age 31)10 Flag of Italy.svg Benetton
George Moala Centre (1990-11-05) 5 November 1990 (age 33)6 Flag of France.svg Clermont
Afusipa Taumoepeau Centre (1990-01-26) 26 January 1990 (age 33)17 Flag of France.svg Perpignan
Fine Inisi Wing (1998-05-19) 19 May 1998 (age 25)8 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Solomone Kata Wing (1994-12-03) 3 December 1994 (age 29)12 Flag of England.svg Leicester Tigers
Kyren Taumoefolau Wing (2003-05-08) 8 May 2003 (age 20)5 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Anzelo Tuitavuki Wing (1998-10-10)10 October 1998 (aged 24)8 Flag of New Zealand.svg Moana Pasifika
Charles Piutau Fullback (1991-10-31) 31 October 1991 (age 32)8 Flag of Japan.svg Shizuoka Blue Revs

Coaches

Current coaching staff

The current coaching staff of the Tongan national team: [8]

NameNationalityRole
Lano FonuaFlag of Tonga.svg  TON Manager
Toutai Kefu Flag of Australia (converted).svg  AUS Head coach
Grant Doorey Flag of Australia (converted).svg  AUS Assistant coach (Defence)
John McKee Flag of New Zealand.svg  NZL Assistant coach (Attack)
Semisi FonuaFlag of Tonga.svg  TON Strength & Conditioning coach
Alejandro PastorFlag of Argentina.svg  ARG Strength & Conditioning coach
Dr. Penisimani PoloniatiFlag of Tonga.svg  TON Team doctor
LeeVan SantosFlag of New Zealand.svg  NZL Head Physiotherapist
Siosaia VakasiuolaFlag of Tonga.svg  TON Physiotherapist
Joh FifitaFlag of Tonga.svg  TON Performance Analyst
Declan OorloffFlag of Australia (converted).svg  AUS Performance Analyst

Individual all-time records

Most caps

#PlayerPosSpanMatStartSubPtsTriesConvPensDropWonLostDraw%
1 Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2014–present5550527817443602133141.66
2 Nili Latu Flanker 2006–2017484712850101928140.62
3 Vunga Lilo Fullback 2007–20184441387123701925043.18
4 Siale Piutau Wing 2011–2019434123261001725140.69
5 Steve Mafi Lock 2010–present4231111020002022048.42
6 Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1990–2005414015082201526036.58
7 Kurt Morath Fly-half 2009–2021403463402487801822047.36
8 Pierre Hola Fly-half 1998–20093938132212684231920048.72
Benhur Kivalu Number 8 1998–2005393544080001424137.17
10 Aleki Lutui Hooker 1999–2015383082550001225132.89

Last updated: Tonga vs Romania, 8 October 2023. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries

#PlayerPosSpanMatStartSubPtsTriesConvPensDrop
1 Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2014–present555052781744360
Fetuʻu Vainikolo Wing 2011–2016282718517000
3 Josh Taumalolo Centre 1996–200726233118146120
4 Pierre Hola Fly-half 1998–2009393813221268423
Vunga Lilo Fullback 2007–2018444138712370
6 Fepikou Tatafu Centre 1996–2002232125010000
7 Viliame Iongi Wing 2011–201621156459000
Benhur Kivalu Number 8 1998–200539354459000
Telusa Veainu Wing 2015–202214140459000
10 Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1990–200541401508220

Last updated: Tonga vs Romania, 8 October 2023. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Leading point scorers

#PlayerPosSpanMatStartSubPtsTriesConvPensDrop
1 Kurt Morath Fly-half 2009–202140346340248780
2 Pierre Hola Fly-half 1998–2009393813221268423
3 Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2014–present555052781744350
4 Sateki Tu'ipulotu Fullback 1993–200320191190533321
5 Fangatapu Apikotoa Fly-half 2004–2014302010147240190
6 Josh Taumalolo Centre 1996–200726233118146120
7 Kusitafu Tonga Fullback 1996–200113121114132150
8 Vunga Lilo Fullback 2007–2018444138712370
9 William Havili Fly-half 2022-present1414085122120
Fetuʻu Vainikolo Wing 2011–2016282718517000

Last updated: Tonga vs Romania, 8 October 2023. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most points in a match

#PlayerPosPtsTriesConvPensDropOppositionVenueDate
1 Pierre Hola Centre 4421700Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Flag of Tonga.svg Nuku'alofa 22 March 2003
2 Fangatapu Apikotoa Fly-half 3021000Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Flag of New Zealand.svg Henderson 10 February 2007
3 Sateki Tu'ipulotu Fullback 271820Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Flag of South Korea.svg Seoul 4 May 1999
4 Benhur Kivalu Fly-half 255000Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Flag of Tonga.svg Nuku'alofa 22 March 2003
5 Pierre Hola Fullback 240911Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea Flag of Tonga.svg Nuku'alofa 7 December 2002
6 Gustavo Tonga Fullback 231900Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands Flag of Tonga.svg Nuku'alofa 5 July 1997
7 Viliame Iongi Centre 204000Flag of the United States.svg  United States Flag of England.svg Esher 8 June 2011
Kurt Morath Fly-half 200440Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji Flag of Fiji.svg Lautoka 2 July 2011
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 201330Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa Flag of Tonga.svg Nuku'alofa 1 July 2017
103 players on 19 points

Last updated: Tonga vs Romania, 8 October 2023. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most tries in a match

#PlayerPosPtsTriesConvPensDropOppositionVenueDate
1 Benhur Kivalu Number 8 255000Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Flag of Tonga.svg Nuku'alofa 22 March 2003
2 Viliame Iongi Wing 204000Flag of the United States.svg  United States Flag of England.svg Esher 8 June 2011
3 Josh Taumalolo Fly-half 153000Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands Flag of Tonga.svg Nuku'alofa 5 July 1997
Josh Taumalolo Fullback 173100Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg  Georgia Flag of Georgia (1990-2004).svg Tbilisi 28 March 1999
Jonathan Koloi Flanker 153000Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea Flag of South Korea.svg Seoul 4 May 1999
Viliami Hakalo Wing 153000Flag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands Flag of the Cook Islands.svg Raratonga24 June 2006
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 153000Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong Flag of Australia (converted).svg Sunshine Coast 23 July 2022
849 players on 2 tries

Last updated: Tonga vs Romania, 8 October 2023. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Most matches as captain

#PlayerPosSpanMatWonLostDraw %PtsTriesConvPensDrop
1 Nili Latu Flanker 2006–2016421526136.90234010
2 Siale Piutau Wing 2015–201919910047.36224100
Sonatane Takulua Scrum-half 2017–present19613025.00808880
4 Inoke Afeaki Lock 2001–20031248033.33153000
5 Fakahau Valu Flanker 1977–19871101100.00123000
6 Aleki Lutui Hooker 2004–2011918011.1151000
Elisi Vunipola Fly-half 1999–2001945044.44153000
8 Sione Mafi Pahulu Number 8 1973–1975716014.28153010
9 Siaosi Atiola Number 8 1987–1990614125.0041000
10 Mana Otai Number 8 1995532060.0051000
Fe'ao Vunipola Hooker 1994–1998523040.0000000

Last updated: Tonga vs Romania, 8 October 2023. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Youngest players

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

Last updated: Tonga vs Romania, 8 October 2023. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Oldest players

#PlayerPosAgeOppositionVenueDate
1 Fakahau Valu Flanker 37 years and 362 daysIRFU flag.svg  Ireland Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brisbane 3 June 1987
2 Polutele Tu'ihalamaka Lock 37 years and 249 daysFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Flag of Australia (converted).svg Napier 24 May 1987
3 Aleki Lutui (Hooker)37 years and 95 daysFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Flag of England.svg Leicester 4 October 2015
4 Kurt Morath Fly-Half 36 years and 358 daysFlag of England.svg  England Flag of England.svg London 6 November 2021
5 Joe Tuineau Lock 36 years and 302 daysFlag of Samoa.svg  Samoa Flag of Fiji.svg Suva 16 June 2018
6 Hale T-Pole Lock 36 years and 152 daysFlag of Namibia.svg  Namibia Flag of England.svg Exeter 29 September 2015
7 Siegfried Fisi'ihoi Prop 36 years and 122 daysFlag of Romania.svg  Romania Flag of France.svg Lille 8 October 2023
8 Elvis Taione Hooker 36 years and 76 daysFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Flag of Fiji.svg Lautoka 8 August 2019
9 Rudi Kapeli Hooker 35 years and 311 daysFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brisbane 4 July 1993
10 Tukulua Lokotui Lock 35 years and 282 daysFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Flag of England.svg Newcastle 9 October 2015

Last updated: Tonga vs Romania, 8 October 2023. Statistics include officially capped matches only.

Kit history

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:

PeriodKit manufacturer
1974–1980 Umbro
1980–1999 Canterbury
2000–2002Carisbrook
2003–2005 Sekem
2005–2008 KooGa
2008Samurai Sportswear ^a
2008–2010Aoniu ^b
2011–2012 KooGa/BLK
2012–2015 Kukri
2016–2020 Mizuno
2021Siomai Print
2021-presentForce XV
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga87.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks whitetop.png
Kit socks long.svg
1987–1995 Home
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga95a.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks redtop.png
Kit socks long.svg
1987–1995 Away
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga99.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
1999 RWC Home
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga03.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks whitetop.png
Kit socks long.svg
2003 Home
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga03a.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks redtop.png
Kit socks long.svg
2003 Away
Kit left arm tonga07.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga07.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm tonga07.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks 2 white stripes.png
Kit socks long.svg
2007 Home
Kit left arm Tonga rugby.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body Tonga rugby.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm Tonga rugby.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks 2 white stripes.png
Kit socks long.svg
2009 Home
Kit left arm tonga11h.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga11h.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm tonga11h.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks whitetop.png
Kit socks long.svg
2011 Home
Kit left arm Tongaleft.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body Tongakit.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm Tongaright.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
2015 Home
Kit left arm Tongaleftb.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body Tongakitb.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm Tongarightb.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
2015 Away
Kit left arm tonga17h.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga17h.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm tonga17h.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
2017 Home
Kit left arm tonga17a.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga17a.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm tonga17a.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
2017 Away
Kit left arm tonga19h.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga19h.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm tonga19h.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
2019 Home
Kit left arm tonga19a.png
Kit left arm.svg
Kit body tonga19a.png
Kit body.svg
Kit right arm tonga19a.png
Kit right arm.svg
Kit shorts.svg
Kit socks long.svg
2019 Away

Coaches

NameSpanMatWonLostDraw%W
Flag of New Zealand.svg David Mullins [9] 1969–1974
Flag of Tonga.svg Kelepi Tupou [10] 1983
Flag of Tonga.svg Fred Wolfgramm [11] 1985
Flag of Tonga.svg Prince Mailefihi 1986–1987
Flag of Tonga.svg Peseti Ma'afu [12] [13] 1991
Flag of Tonga.svg Sione Taumoepeau [14] 1994-1995
Flag of Tonga.svg Fakahau Valu 1995
Flag of Tonga.svg Rev. Tevita Latailakepa 1998
Flag of Tonga.svg Polutele Tuʻihalamaka 1999
Flag of New Zealand.svg David Waterston 1999–2000 [15]
Flag of Tonga.svg Vaita Ueleni 2000–2001
Flag of New Zealand.svg Jim Love 2001–200319613031.58
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Willie Ofahengaue 2004–200580800.00
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Adam Leach 2006–2007752071.43
Flag of Tonga.svg Quddus Fielea 2007–201016511031.25
Flag of New Zealand.svg Isitolo Maka 2010–20111477050.00
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Toutai Kefu (caretaker)2012312033.33
Flag of Tonga.svg Mana Otai 2012–2015241112147.91
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Toutai Kefu 2016–present511532029.41

Notable former players

See also

Notes

  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. 1 2 "Men's World Rankings". World Rugby. Retrieved 25 December 2023.
  7. Tonga rugby stats
  8. "Tonga Rugby's Coaching Staff". rnz.co.nz. 15 October 2021.
  9. "Fr David Mullins SM". www.maristmessenger.co.nz. Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  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.

Sources

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