Nuku’alofa – October 4, 2021: 4pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Small but critical positive steps are now being taken to help the Tonga Rugby Union get back 100 percent of World Rugby’s full favor.
Chief Executive Officer Peter Harding made the comments today, while answering queries on last Friday’s Governance meeting at the Ancient Tonga facilities in Ma’ufanga here on Tongatapu.
The governance review will help push the TRU back into the good books of World Rugby, after the fall from grace in the last five years.
Harding said that the TRU is the last in the region to have the governance review.
“Post 2015 World Rugby mandated governance reviews for all unions. This has been completed by all members of Oceania including Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Cooks, Samoa and Fiji. We are the last to go through the process,” Harding said.
“World Rugby is a membership organisation and this is a crucial part of becoming a member in good standing.”
Harding said Council membership and rugby funding are dependent on the review.
Saturday’s meeting was run by Oceania Rugby and governance expert, Paul Jonson, a professor in sports laws and governance.
All TRU committee members and reps were present, except a rep from ‘Eua were at the meeting.
Harding said constitutional change will determine TRU’s future.
“If Tonga wants a seat at the table and full future funding, this review must take place,” he said.
“The decision rests with the members and it is solely in their hands to enable the process and to be inside the tent involved in the decisions that affect our future.”
He said it was important that all reps and union members understand the importance of the work being done.