18 Feb 2020

Tonga rugby leage boss shocked at being expelled from IRL

From Checkpoint, 5:53 pm on 18 February 2020

The Secretary of Tonga's Rugby National League says he is shocked the association has been expelled by the sport's governing body.

The International Rugby League board announced the expulsion this week, the latest move in a long-running battle over governance and money.

The TNRL has been suspended since October, after it sacked coach Kristian Woolf over disagreements around control and finances, which led players to threaten a boycott of the World Cup 9s and end of season tests.

International Rugby League recommended a package of reforms in December, at the end of a two-month investigation into the operation and governance of the game in the country.

Thirty days of consultation ended in January and, in a statement, International Rugby League confirmed a resolution had been passed at a board meeting on Thursday to expel Tonga's NRL.

TNRL Secretary William Edwards told RNZ Pacific's Vinnie Wylie he was surprised by the move.