4 Mar 2014

Sport: 'Strongest ever' Tonga A eye higher honours

11:44 am on 4 March 2014

Tonga A are in a confident mood ahead of Tuesday afternoon's Pacific Rugby Cup opener against Samoa A in Sydney.

The squad is a mix of local based players as well as ten from Australia and New Zealand.

Samoa began their campaign last week with a narrow loss to Gen Blue from New South Wales while the Tongans have played a couple of trial games against an Under 20 and Tongan selection team.

Assistant coach Vaita Ueleni says they will be competitive and have everything to play for.

"In our first here I think that's what we were telling the boys. This is the first selection we have [had for] Tonga A - outside the local boys - and we have been emphasising to these guys here that World Cup is around the corner, 18 months from now, and that's why we are having this tour here and having all the best players available for the Tonga A here, because that is the demand from our head coach. These players here they know what is at stake for them and they are keen to do their best and put up their hands for selection for 'Ikale Tahi".

Assistant coach Vaita Ueleni