18 Mar 2011

Tonga ring chances for Hong Kong Sevens

9:16 am on 18 March 2011

Tonga have made eight changes to their squad for next week's Hong Kong Sevens, with form and injury playing a part in the high turnover.

Coach Siua Taumalolo says Tonga haven't played since the Wellington Sevens at the start of February so he's had to base his selections on how players performed at that tournament.

He's also lost a few players to Tonga's Pacific Rugby Cup team, while two players are unavailable with injury.

Siua Taumalolo says the team wasn't satisfied with their runners-up finish in the bowl final in New Zealand and he says Hong Kong offers an opportunity for a number of players to stake a long-term claim in the team.

"I was trying to get a core squad for the Tonga sevens. After they went to Wellington I had five of them outstanding from the tournament and I thought that we should keep them for a long time. Now we have new players. The level of the game here in Tonga the players they are all doing the same level, there is no one outstanding, and that's why I just give chance to whoever performs in the tournament is a specialist for the sevens."

Tonga are drawn alongside Scotland, Samoa and Mexico in Hong Kong.

The tournament kicks off next weekend.