By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission.
Tonga international Konrad Hurrell says his family are safe from the devastation caused by the tsunami in the Pacific region and now wants to help raise funds for those less fortunate.
The former NRL player is now in England preparing for his first season with St Helens.
He said after all communication from the island was initially lost due to the effect of the underwater volcanic eruption, he finally made contact with his family.
“Obviously it’s been a tough couple of weeks but I finally got through to my sister and through to my dad,” said the former New Zealand Warriors and Gold Coast Titans player.
“I always hate saying that my family are safe and warm with food and water because there are a lot of families struggling in Tonga right now.
“I hope people there are okay and I’m sure they are working through it to help each other to get through this with their families.
“I just can’t imagine being there at the time when the tsunami happened.”
The Rugby Football League will dedicate funds raised from the 2022 Combined Nations All Stars jersey when they face England in June to the people of Tonga, and Hurrell is keen to play his part in the fundraiser.
“I’d love to play in that game for the All Stars, especially for a cause like this,” he said.
“I’d love to give something back to my little country and testing yourself against England is something I’d want to do anyway.
“But at the same time it’s a big help for the families back home in Tonga.
“All the funds raised from the jersey will give back to families affected. Even if I don’t get picked for the team, I’d still love to get amongst it and help out in any way I can.”