Strong Tongan rugby league team to contest RLW Champs

The Mate Ma’a Tonga Rugby League team will field a strong starting line-up against Scotland in their opening Rugby League World Cup Tuesday 29 at Derwent Park, Workington.

 Tonga's first taste of international Rugby League was in the 1988 Pacific Cup and in 1992 when they actually made the final of the same competition.

In 1995 Tonga took part in the Rugby League World Cup for the first time. Tonga also participated in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, where they performed poorly in pool games against France and Papua New Guinea and again missed out on a quarter final place.

At the 2008 World Cup, Tonga were favourites to reach the semi-final and started well enough by beating Ireland in their first pool game. The second match, against Samoa, was one of the matches of the tournament, but that was no consolation to the Tongans whose defeat ultimately proved costly.

With a strong squad in this yearʻs world cup, "Tonga will push for a quarter-finals finish. Led by Brent Kite, Tonga have some solid forwards, such as Sika Manu, Willie Manu, Fuifui Moimoi and Ben Murdoch-Masila, and are blessed with some speed out wide. Konrad Hurrell, Glen Fisiiahi , Mahe Fonua, Daniel Tupou, Jorge Taufua and Sosaia Feki complete an attacking back line. Panthers signing Kite will lay the foundation up front.

Such was Taufua's form this season, he could have easily been playing for Australia at this year's tournament. He was also mentioned as a possible NSW Origin winger. The Manly player has developed into one of the best dummy-half runners in the game and is a handful for defenders on kick returns".

Team Line-up (likely)
1. Glen Fisiiahi
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Konrad Hurrell
4. Sosaia Feki
5. Jorge Tafua
6. Samsoni Langi
7. Daniel Foster
8. Brent Kite (c)
9. Nafe Seluini
10. Fuifui Moimoi
11. Willie Manu
12. Jason Taumalolo
13. Sika Manu

14. Ukuma Taai
15. Siosa Vave
16. Peni Terepo
17. Patrick Politini

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