18 Nov 2010

Maka wants Tonga to play for World Cup places

1:06 pm on 18 November 2010

Tonga's rugby coach Isitolo Maka expects his players to be pushing for places at next year's world cup during their brief European tour.

The Ikale Tahi open their two-game campaign against an Italy A side in Modena on Saturday morning.

The non-test is a contrast to Tonga's two Pacific rivals Fiji and Samoa, who are playing internationals against Wales and England on the same weekend.

Isitolo Maka admits he doesn't know much about the Italians, saying he's a seen a few clips of them on TV, but he does know what he wants from his players.

"To have the boys come together and train together for the first time. The last couple of days has been coming really good together as a team. The goal is to win these two matches but at the same time with the players to perform - especially for next year - you know, with selection of the world cup squad, because there are so many players still with the Super 15 sides that are eligible to play for us and my goal is for everybody to put their hands up on this tour."