7 Nov 2014

Sport: Tonga expect torrid rugby encounter v Georgia

12:33 pm on 7 November 2014

Tonga's Rugby Chairman says the Ikale Tahi won't be taking an improving Georgia side lightly when the two do battle this weekend in Tbilisi.

Epeli Taione says recent history shows that the second tier European nations are highly competitive.

"We're expecting a very tough encounter. We are not going to take this lightly seeing as we lose to a similar game last year to Romania. Samoa, as well, found out the hard way against Georgia last year. These guys are on par with us and the improvement they have shown and most of the majority of players are playing Top 14 Rugby, some are in the UK, so they play at the highest level."

Taione says the Ikale Tahi forwards will need to be on top of their game if they are to defeat Georgia. He says the Tongans are very focussed this year.

"We don't take this lightly. We're going with the strongest side available to us at the moment. Even though it will be a very hard game, it will be forward-orientated. The winning and losing of this game will be based up front but we still are expecting a result."

Tonga Rugby Union Chair Epeli Taione

Tonga Rugby Union Chair Epeli Taione Photo: PHOTOSPORT