Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tonga's missing home tests

A quick summary as to why Tonga haven't played a home test since 2009 and how much longer Tongans will have to wait to see international rugby return to Nuku'alofa.

The last time Tonga played a home test match in Tonga dates back to 13 June 2009 against Fiji in the Pacific Nations Cup. By next summer that will be 8 years since Tonga last got a chance to watch their side play an international match.

All Tonga's matches since then have been either away or at a neutral venue. When Georgia toured the Pacific Islands this year they had to play the Tonga fixture in Suva.

The reason why is simply because Tonga's main ground, the Teufaiva Stadium, has been deemed not up to international standard by World Rugby. Positive news for Tonga fans though is they should regain home test matches in the near future.

Teufaiva Stadium is undergoing renovation for the 2019 Pacific Games, with the governments of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea offering funding and assistance for the project. Renovation started early this year and is due to be completed sometime mid 2017.

The question is though whether the stadium will be ready to host Wales next June. With medical facilities in doubt, indications are that the match may have to be played in New Zealand. That would also mean Tonga wouldn't get play their home legs of RWC qualifiers in Tonga.

No comments :

Post a Comment