The Prime Minister of Tonga ʻAkilisi Pohiva drank kava with the ʻIkale tahi officials at the Scenic hotel Sunday 25 to show his support for the national team.
The semi-formal kava ceremony is similar in meaning to a toast in which a drink is taken as an expression of honor or goodwill.
Tonga will face the Manu Samoa this Saturday at Teufaiva stadium before it will take on the flying Fijians on Saturday 8.
The kava ceremony was attended by the ‘Ikale Tahi head coach Toutai Kefu, Dr Faka’osi Pifeleti, Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni, the Minister of Health and others.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said they also met with the players and said a prayer together for the team.
He said the Prime Minister also spoke with the boys giving them his encouragement and relayed to them the support of the nation.
The Tongan team had been camping in Nukualofa for the past two weeks to prepare for their Pacific Nations Cup opener.
This will be the first time for the ‘Ikale Tahi to play on home soil since 2009.
A scheduled home test for the ʻIkale Tahi against Wales was moved from Tonga and conducted in New Zealand in June 16 because the Teufaiva stadium was deemed unfit for play.
In that clash, Tonga was beaten by Wales 24-6.