20 Jun 2014

Sport: Ex coach says Tonga being short-changed by IRB

11:05 am on 20 June 2014

The former 'Ikale Tahi coach Isitolo Maka says Tonga continues to be short-changed by the International Rugby Board in the allocation of top level test matches.

Tonga play a Pacific Barbarians selection in Auckland on Sunday, and have only five more matches confirmed before next year's World Cup.

Maka is helping to coach the Barbarians team, which includes recent Tongan internationals Lua Lokotui, Kurt Morath and Taniela Moa, as well as a host of ex All Blacks and Wallabies internationals.

Tonga is unable to host matches in Nuku'alofa at the moment because their national stadium is not up to international standard but Isitolo Maka says the team still deserves to be playing the top nations more often.

"I was told when I was coaching the IRB has already organised the schedule for the next four years but it's always disappointing to look at Tonga. They only get one and

I don't understand why. From the last World Cup I think we did really well in terms of performance and for us to be ranked ninth after the World Cup, I thought we deserved more test matches than Fiji and Samoa - they always get more test matches from tier one than us -so I don't really understand and I'm sure that [current Tonga coach] Mana [Otai] is going through the same situation."

The Tonga Rugby Union organised Sunday's match after they were left with a free slot during the June test window.