Tonga

NRL referee opens up on vile abuse after World Cup semi

Cecchin, who disallowed a try that would have given Tonga an upset win, has told The Sydney Morning Herald he was in an Auckland bar when police rang to tell him they had contacted him and several family members that had been targeted.

He was advised not the leave the hotel and told he would be picked up and taken to the airport.

On his return to Australia, he was picked up by the Australian Federal Police.

He also flicked through his phone to discover more than a thousand "vile" attacks, the likes of which he had never encountered across his entire career.

Pacific Nations teams push for more home Tests

The success of last year's tournament across Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand has opened the door for international games to be showcased in a similar way to the NRL taking clashes to regional areas in Australia throughout 2018.

The annual mid-season Pacific Tests, which have been played since 2013, have been based in Sydney's west for the last five years – an agreement that will continue next season.

Milford chooses Samoa over Origin as four players defect to NZ

The 23 year old played in Queensland's Game One State of Origin defeat against New South Wales earlier this month but will be unavailable for Game Two on Sunday after opting to represent Samoa.

Milford played in Samoa's Pacific Test defeat by England last May but missed the World Cup due to a shoulder injury.

Manly winger Jorge Taufua is set to make his debut for Samoa, having previously represented Tonga, however four former Toa Samoa internationals have switched allegiance to New Zealand ahead of the Kiwis controversial test against England in Denver this weekend.

Tonga sued for millions of dollars because of Games withdrawal

The government pulled out of their hosting agreement last year, citing financial difficulties.

The Supreme Court has issued a Summons of Writ which the government has 28 days from issuance, (May 15), to answer.

The Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue said the body was seeking damages for the losses that it suffered as a result of the unilateral decision to withdraw without consultation.

TASANOC is seeking the same.

Mr Minogue said the claim was for three parts of the damages that were being sought as far as the council was concerned.

Pacific Test confirmed: Players plead allegiance to Tonga

The first two clashes have been announced with Pacific rivals Tonga and Samoa going head-to-head, as well as a match between Papua New Guinea and Lebanon.

Cronulla Sharks prop Andrew Fifita recently pleaded his allegiance to Mate Ma'a Tonga (MMT), turning his back on the State of Origin series as well as any chances to play for Australia's Kangaroos.

MMT coach Kristian Woolf says he fully supports Fifita's decision and the huge sacrifice it comes with.

Tonga secure big guns as Fifita makes rep switch

In a huge boost for international rugby league and Tonga's rapid development as a challenger to the game's traditional heavyweights, Fifita has revealed a pact instigated by Taumalolo after last year's surprise World Cup finals charge convinced him to rule himself out of Australian and NSW Blues contention.

Fifita said he and Taumalolo had reaffirmed their commitment to the Mata Ma'u during a meeting with Tonga coach Kristian Woolf in North Queensland before last month's round-one clash between the Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys.

NZ Immigration launches annual Pacific Access

The Samoan Quota and the Pacific Access Category resident visas allow for a number of people from five Pacific countries to be selected for New Zealand residence each year, provided they meet the necessary requirements.

Each year up to 1100 Samoan citizens, 250 Tongan and Fijian citizens and 75 Kiribati and Tuvaluan citizens can be selected by ballot to be considered, but a number of applicants who do win a place often have to forfeit it after failing to secure an acceptable job offer.

Konrad Hurrell returns to Tonga to help cyclone-ravaged nation

NRL.com reporter Zac Bailey joined Hurrell as he surprised loved ones in the country’s cyclone-ravaged capital Nuku’alofa.

Hurrell was granted leave from pre-season training by Titans coach Garth Brennan, a decision that gave the Tongan international the chance to lend a hand following the Category 4 cyclone.

Houses were flattened and lives lost in the natural disaster that has crippled the nation.

Taufatofua's result a success for Tonga

Competing in only his sixth major race, the 34 year-old completed his run in 56 minutes and 41 seconds.

Pita Taufatofua, who took up cross-country skiing just over a year ago, finished ahead of four other competitors in South Korea, and more than 23 minutes behind the gold medallist, Dario Cologna from Switzerland.

Head of Sport for the Royal Tonga Ski Federation, Steve Grundmann, said it was a fantastic race by the double Olympian.

He said Pita Taufatofua paced his way perfectly around a difficult course and even had a smile on his face.

From Rio Games to Winter Olympics, Pita Taufatofua takes on cross-country ski

Two years ago, he was marching into the Rio summer Games carrying the Tongan flag shirtless and sporting an oily torso - last week, at sub zero temperatures, he did the same in South Korea at the Winter Olympics.

His taekwondo dream ended in a 19-1 opening-round defeat in Brazil and having turned to the snow Taufatofua's ambitions are to "finish before they turn the lights off" and "don't ski into a tree".