29 Jun 2015

Sport: Tonga coach says World Cup spots still up for grabs

11:32 am on 29 June 2015

Tonga rugby coach Mana Otai says up to a dozen players could still force their way into the 'Ikale Tahi squad to compete at the World Cup.

31 players, including five new caps, were named last week to contest the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup.

Mana Otai says everyone in the original wider training squad is still under consideration for a World Cup berth, while some higher profile players have also expressed an interest in coming on board.

"We are working with them at the moment so you could easily look at 10-12 players in that category. Also Super 15 players: in our current squad we only have one but there are potentially about 15 that are [possible] depending on where they go. Some have indicated in the past they are not interested but when things are starting to change they turn around and say maybe I should make ourselves available, so I've always opened that door for that possibility as well".

The Tongan squad will assembly in early July for a training camp before their opening test of the year against Fiji in Suva.

Tonga rugby coach Mana Otai

Tonga rugby coach Mana Otai Photo: PHOTOSPORT