Exeter Chiefs duo Fetu’u Vainikolo and Elvis Taione have been named in Tonga’s squad for the end-of-year tour to Asia and Europe.
Exeter Chiefs duo Fetu’u Vainikolo and Elvis Taione have both been named in Tonga’s squad for the end-of-year tour to Asia and Europe.
Both players have been included in a 30-man Tonga squad, which has also added former Springboks coach Jake White to their backroom staff.
White will serve as a technical advisor to head coach Mana Otai when Tonga plays Georgia, the United States and Scotland next month.
“Through some mutual acquaintances we got in touch with Jake and he was extremely keen to come on board,” said Tonga high performance manager Peter Harding.
“He’s had a great coaching career and has won a World Cup so his presence alone will be massive for the squad.”
The 51-year-old, who led South Africa to their second World Cup success in 2007, recently walked out on the Durban-based Sharks to ‘free himself up’ for international coaching and consulting opportunities.
The appointment comes as a boost for the Tongan Rugby Union, which recently negotiated new funding in a meeting with IRB officials in Auckland last week.
White has not yet confirmed whether he will continue his new role at next year’s World Cup in England, but Harding admitted discussions have been positive.
Tonga squad: Sona Taumalolo, Halani Aulika, Tevita Mailau, Taione Vea, Sila Puafisi, Vaea Taione, Paula Ngauamo, Aleki Lutui, Tukulua Lokotui, Joe Tuineau, Lisiate Faaoso, Hale T Pole, Nili Latu, Amanaki Mafi, Viliami Fihaki, Maama Vaipulu, Viliami Maafu, Sonatane Tukulua, Thomas Palu, Taniela Moa, Latiume Fosita, Kurt Morath, Liueli Simote, Sione Piukala, Siale Piutau, Fetu’u Vainikolo, Daniel Kilioni, Otulea Katoa, David Halaifonua, Vungakoto Lilo