5 Feb 2014

Sport: Tonga says coaching change no problem ahead of Wellington 7s

1:11 pm on 5 February 2014

The Tongan sevens team insist a late coaching change has not been a distraction to their preparations for this weekend's IRB World Series round in Wellington.

Former coach Manu Vunipola was in charge of the team when they qualified for Wellington at last year's Pacific Mini Games as well the team that competed at the Gold Coast Sevens in October.

His assistant, Taholo 'Anitoni, has stepped in for this weekend's tournament after Vunipola was forced to pull out at the last minute.

But team manager Filo 'Akauola says it is business as usual.

"Manu was there not permanently and when he apologised for himself for commitment to personal things and Taholo his assistant- he has been very much associated with Manu: the way they teach the boys, the training, and the board agreed Taholo would be the right person to come with the team".

Tonga is in the same pool as Samoa, Australia and Kenya.