19 Apr 2011

Changes to Tongan Rugby administration could affect World Cup, says IRB

9:08 pm on 19 April 2011

The International Rugby Board says any unapproved changes to the Tongan Rugby Union Authority could jeopardise the country's participation at this year's World Cup.

The Authority was set up last year by the Tongan Government to address the IRB's concerns over the application of the union's constitution.

A petition submitted to the Tonga Cabinet has expressed dissatisfaction with the management of the Authority and called for a change in leadership.

But the IRB's General Manager for Oceania, William Glenwright, says any changes would have to be agreed to by the IRB, or Tonga would be in breach of its agreement.

"It's designed to introduce stability to the Tonga Rugby Union. And I think it's widely known that a great deal of instability taking place over the past few years. We believe that's been achieved, we're very happy with the work that's been done by the authority. But it's an interim measure and the ordinance will expire in February 2012 so this is not a permanent arrangement."

William Glenwright says once the ordinance expires, anyone will be eligible to stand for the Tongan Rugby Union Board.