22 Aug 2011

Tonga rugby chief resigns

3:18 pm on 22 August 2011

The chief executive and chair of the Tonga Rugby Union Board, Australian Bob Tuckey, has resigned and left the country.

The acting prime minister, Samiu Vaipulu, has told parliament the sudden departure came after a disagreement with the head coach of the 'Ikale Tahi, 'Isitolo Maka.

Reports from Tonga say he was unhappy with one of the players chosen by Mr Maka for the World Cup squad.

Mr Vaipulu says he's grateful Mr. Tuckey left over this issue and not after a parliamentary committee call for a new chair to be appointed.

Late last week the 'Ikale Tahi team called on the Legislative Assembly not to remove Mr Tuckey, saying he'd done great work for the team.

Mr Vaipulu says Mr Tuckey left Tonga on Saturday.