The Tongans will be at the Rugby World Cup 2023 after last weekend’s thumping of Hong Kong 44-22 at the Sunshine Coast in Australia.
Just after the win, Tonga confirmed that three more former All Blacks will join their Word Cup campaign.
Former All Blacks George Moala, Vaea Fifita, and former New Zealand sevens player Pita Ahki have stepped up for their nation of birth for its 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign.
Vaea plays for Scarlets in Llanelli, Moala currently plays for Clermont Auvergne in the French Top 14 competitions and Ahki is at Toulouse.
The trio will join Isileli (Israel) Folau, Salesi (Charles) Piutau, and Malakai Fekitoa in the Tongan squad for the November Test Series.
Tonga Rugby Union CEO Peter Harding confirmed this during an exclusive interview with the Pacific Advocate, after winning against Hong Kong.
“We will also be bringing more players who are now eligible to represent Tonga, some have confirmed their availability, but we will announce them once everything has been officially finalised,” Harding said.
Tonga defeated Hong Kong 44 – 22 to qualify as the Asia/Pacific 1 and will be in what can be considered the “pool of death.”
They will be facing defending champions South Africa, Scotland, Romania, and current World Rugby ranked number one Ireland.
“We know we are in a tough pool, it will be a very big challenge for us, playing in a pool with two of the toughest teams in the World Cup, but we will be ready, our focus now is preparing the best we can for the World Cup,” said Harding.
According to Harding, these players will also feature in the 2023 Pacific Nations Cup.