5 Nov 2014

Sport: Tonga Rugby play on without Tameifuna

12:35 pm on 5 November 2014

The Chairman of the Tonga Rugby Union Epeli Taione says the national side will get on with the job of trying to beat Georgia, the USA and Scotland without Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna.

Tameifuna, who has been a member of a New Zealand All Blacks training squad in the past, was a shock inclusion in the Northern Tour squad when it was announced last month.

He has since withdrawn and will instead take part in a charity boxing event in December.

Tameifuna has told New Zealand media he will decide on what international side he will play for by April next year.

Epeli Taione says the withdrawal is a blow, but the team will survive.

"A player of the calibre of Ben will always be welcome on a team like ours and he's a top class player and you want all the best players on your side however we fully understand Ben's position and whilst we are disappointed, thank goodness we have a very formidable front row and we have great depth in our tight five."

Tonga play Georgia in Tbilisi this weekend.

Tonga Rugby Union Chair Epeli Taione

Tonga Rugby Union Chair Epeli Taione Photo: PHOTOSPORT