11 Sep 2014

Sport: Former league international keen to find a home in union

10:47 am on 11 September 2014

Former Papua New Guinea rugby league international Ryan Tongia has his sights set on a Super Rugby contract after making an impressive start to his time in the 15-a-side game.

The 24 year old grew up in Brisbane playing rugby league and was on the books as the Gold Coast Titans and Cronulla Sharks, before a brief stint in the UK Superleague with Wakefield Trinity.

He played two tests for the Kumuls in 2010 but switched his focus to rugby at the start of this year.

Playing on the wing for New Zealand provincial side Hawkes Bay, Tongia scored the match-winning try to help the Magpies lift the prestigious Ranfurly Shield against Counties Manukau two weeks ago...and and says he's enjoying his new surroundings.

"Each week I'm improving which is a goal that I set at the start of the ITM [Cup] season and hopefully I will just continue to get better. At this stage I'm trying to crack the Super 15 scene. Obviously, at the moment, the focus is on the ITM. I'm still in the mix of trying to find myself an agent and also a Super Rugby team that would be willing to take me on, I'm more than keen to jump on board."

Ryan Tongia and the Hawkes Bay team will defend the Ranfurly Shield against Otago this Sunday.