Nuku’alofa – October 14, 2021: 8.25am (Nuku’alofa Times): A mixed 40-member squad has been named for the Ikale Tahi’s tour of Europe later this month.
This was released late yesterday by Tonga Rugby Union chief executive officer Peter Harding.
Head coach Toutai Kefu and Manager Lano Fonua have been able to put together a squad that includes players from New Zealand for the four-match tour.
“They have done a great job putting this squad together from 10 countries for these four games,” Harding said.
“While noting the number of players on the list, be advised that all players will not be playing in the four games.”
This is because of World Rugby rules on player releases.
“The Regulation 9 release is for three weekends only and we plan to respect this,” Harding said.
“In addition, the Scotland game is outside the release window. This has taken some negotiation with clubs, undertaken by Toutai and Lano and this has to this date been successful. Clubs have been good to deal with and I want to thank the FFR for their assistance.
Harding said the list may have some small changes before next weekend depending on flights, Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) and contract negotiations.
“You will note that few of the New Zealand players in line for selection have been chosen. The reason for this is the availability of MIQ spaces for New Zealand based players,” Harding added.
Halfback Sonatane Takulua is expected to lead the national rugby union team on the tour, lining up against Scotland, England, French Barbarians and Romania.
The squad is expected to assemble in Scotland by the end of the month.
Here is the full squad: