8 Sep 2009

Tonga Prime Minister in Wellington for rugby event to mark two years to World Cup kick off

6:44 pm on 8 September 2009

The Tonga Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, is to attend a function in Wellington tomorrow marking two years from the start of the rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

New Zealand's All Blacks are to play Tonga in the opening match in 2011.

The function, at Parliament, is to be hosted by the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, the Rugby World Cup Minister, Murray McCully, and the Chairman of the International Rugby Board, Bernard Lapasset.

Dr Sevele says Tonga is honoured to be playing in the opening match.

He says it's the ideal opportunity for Tonga to show it has the players and the skills to match the best teams in the world.

Dr Sevele will also meet separately with IRB Chair Lapasset to discuss progress on the restructuring of Tonga Rugby and further assistance from the IRB to Tonga.

Also part of the Tonga delegation is Fakahau Valu, a former Tonga captain who is being inducted into the IRB's Pathway of Fame.