Rugby league in Tonga


Rugby league in Tonga

Rugby league is a popularFact|date=September 2008 team sport played in Tonga. [

Tonga boasts one of the most vibrant rugby league competitions in the Pacific islands and continues to produce outstanding players. Tonga is well known for its exports to rugby league's two major club competitions, the National Rugby League of Australasia and the Super League of Europe.

Popularity

The Tongan rugby league competition comprises the following teams:

*Lapaha Knights
*Mu'a Saints
*Puke/Hofa Turtles
*Havelu Bulldogs
*Vaini Doves
*Kolmu'a Warriors
*Nakolo Raiders
*Ha'ateiho Spartans
*Halaloto Barbarians
*Houma Tigers
*Ha'ateiho Crusaders
*Lavengamalie Hurricanes

Participation

There are 10 first division sides in the Global Insurance Cup and there are 9 in the second division. Only Kolomu'a Warriors (One of two Nuku'alofa Clubs) and the Vaini Doves have first and second division sides. The First Division sides have been, to a greater extent, regular participants in the competition since the inception of League in 1988. Those sides are Kolomu'a, Vaini, Mu'a Saints, Silapeluua (Ha'ateiho) Crusaders, Lapaha Knights, Ha'akame Broncos, Hihifo Rovers, Havelu Bulldogs, Halaloto Barbarians and Nakolo Raiders. The Second Division consists of a number of clubs that have participated infrequently over a number of years. However, regulars in the Second Division are Fatumu, Ha'ateiho Spartans and Ngalukilo Stormers.

Secondary Schools Competition started in 2007 with 5 teams in the Under 18s competition and 8 teams in the Under 16s. Takuilau High School won the Under 18s competition and Liahona High School won the Under 16s competition.

It is the largest number of teams and players participating in Rugby League in Tongan history, with the National Schools Committee starting the Under 12s, Under 14s and Under 15s in 2008.

TNRL estimate that there are roughly 1,500 players playing the game of League in Tonga for 2007.

tatistics

Demographics

History

Rugby league first came to the islands in 1986 , with first international competition in the Pacific Cup in 1986 and it was held at Rarotonga and won by the NZ Maori.

After early promise the game took a turn for the worse during the Super League war, which not only affected the elite competitions in Europe and Australia but also the game in the Pacific Islands. This was followed by a fall in revenue from the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, and the banning of cigarette sponsorship in Tonga almost saw the game disappear.

Current Trends

The National Team

"Main Article:" Tonga national rugby league team

Since Tonga began competing in international rugby league it has participated in the Pacific Cup (since 1986), World Sevens (1994-2003), World Cup (since 1995), Superleague World Nines (1996,1997), Superleague Oceania Tournament (1997), Papua New Guinea Fiftieth Anniversary Competition (1998) and Pacific Rim (2004) competitions.

ee also

* Tonga national rugby league team
* Sport in Tonga

ources

* [http://www.sportingo.com/rugby/rugby-leagu...ights/1001,2798]
* [http://www.sportingo.com/rugby/rugby-leagu...ights/1001,2798]


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