Rugby League World Cup Preview: Tonga

Another Island side made up of a core group of NRL players – very talented ones at that – as they’ll look to press their claims in the Rugby League World Cup and achieve great things. Will the NRL talent be enough, or will they fall short of their goals?

Sosaia Feki (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Glen Fisi’iahi (New Zealand Warriors), Mahe Fonua (Melbourne Storm), Daniel Foster (Penrith Panthers), Sydney Havea (Liahona Old Boys), Siliva Havili (New Zealand Warriors), Konrad Hurrell (New Zealand Warriors), Brent Kite (Manly Sea Eagles), Samsoni Langi (Sydney Roosters), Siuatonga Likiliki (Newcastle Knights), Willie Manu (St Helens), Sika Manu (Penrith Panthers), Nesiasi Mataitonga (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Fuifui Moimoi (Parramatta Eels), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Wests Tigers), Mickey Paea (Hull KR), Patrick Politini (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Nafe Seluini (Sydney Roosters), Ukuma Ta’ai (Huddersfield Giants), Jorge Taufua (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Jason Taumololo (North Queensland Cowboys), Peni Terepo (Parramatta Eels), Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters), Siosaia Vave (Melbourne Storm).

When you look through the Tongan side, there’s a host of talented NRL players as well as emerging players, all of whom have played first-grade at some point in their careers.

Couple that with veterans of the game like Brent Kite, Fuifui Moimoi and Mickey Paea, and the core is there for Tonga to do great things in the tournament and trouble most international sides.

With Scotland and Italy in their group, two other very good nations, the Tongans will have their work cut out at the World Cup and will look to get off to a good start in their group games to give themselves the best chance of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Young, talented backs like Sosaia Feki, Glen Fisiiahi and Jorge Taufua will lead the young brigade, as others like Jason Taumalolo and Peni Terepo will look to gain the early ascendancy as the forwards.

All in all, in what is a very talented side across the park, the Tongans will have their work cut out throughout the tournament but if they play to their ability and have all the players work together in unison and cohesively, they could be an Island nation that can trouble some of the bigger sides.

Here’s the side I’d go with for the Tongans:

1. Glen Fisiiahi
2. Daniel Tupou
3. Sosaia Feki
4. Konrad Hurrell
5. Jorge Taufua
6. Samisoni Langi
7. Daniel Foster
8. Brent Kite
9. Siliva Havili
10. Fuifui Moimoi
11. Willie Manu
12. Sika Manu
13. Peni Terepo

14. Sydney Havea
15. Ben Murdoch-Masila
16. Mickey Paea
17. Jason Taumalolo

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