The Tongan National Rugby League Team supporters in New Zealand have urged the "Legions of Tongan rugby fans" who turned out to welcome the ʻIkale Tahi team in 2011 to return to the Auckland International Airport Tuesday and show their supports for the Mate-Maʻa-Tonga team.
The 24 Tongan heroes will make a pit stop this Tuesday in Auckland en route to Britain for the Rugby League World Cup Championship 2013.
Among the strong supporters of the team however, is the Chairman of the New Zealand Rugby League Committee, Sione Kivalu who voiced his appeal for the Tongan community support through Kaniva website.
“We need our people’s support and I ask if you have time please join us at the airport this Tuesday 15 at 4:30am to welcome our team. We need to show them our true support,” Kivalu pleaded.
“In Tongan we say – there is nothing difficult for us Tongans,” he added.
Kivalu said a hulohula will be held on Tuesday evening 15 but the venue is yet to be announced.
A fundraising dinner will be held at the Otahuhu Leopards Rugby league Club 645, Mt. Wellington Rd, Mt. Wellington on Wednesday 17.
He invited those who would like to support the team financially on the nights and to perform a tauʻolunga during the hulohula or at the dinner to contact him on 09 276 8069. All funds will go to the players, he said.
Although only a three days stay, the boys have a considerable amount of free time to sightsee and meet with family.
The 24 national rugby league squad will stay at the Mt Richmond Motel and will have their training sessions at the Otahuhu Rugby League Field. They will leave on October 17 for Britain.
The Mate-Ma’a-Tonga Official Squad:
- Brent Kite (C) (Manly Sea Eagles)
- Jorge Taufua (Manly Sea Eagles)
- Sosaia Feki (Cronulla Sharks)
- Nesiasi Mataitonga (Cronulla Sharks)
- Pat Politoni (Cronulla Sharks)
- Glen Fisi’iahi (NZ Warriors)
- Siliva Havili (NZ Warriors)
- Konrad Hurrell (NZ Warriors)
- Mahe Fonua (Melbourne Storm)
- Siosaia Vave (Melbourne Storm)
- Siuatonga Likiliki (Newcastle Knights)
- Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
- Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta Eels)
- Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels)
- Sika Manu (Penrith Panthers)
- Daniel Foster (Penrith Panthers)
- Samisoni Langi (Sydney Roosters)
- Nafe Seluini (Sydney Roosters)
- Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)
- Ben Murdoch-Masila (Wests Tigers)
- Ukuma Ta’ai (Huddersfield Giants)
- Mickey Paea (Hull Kingston Rovers)
- Willie Manu (St. Helens)
- Sydney Havea (Liahona Old Boys).
Charles Tonga (Coach)
New Zealand Rugby League Committee:
- Chairperson : Sione Kivalu
- President: Hemiloki
- Secretary: Finau Fonokalafi
- Treasurer: Lesieli Moli
- A/Treasurer: Ane Kivalu
- Coach: ‘Una Taufa
- A/coach: Sonasi Moli