11 Feb 2009

New appointment to Tonga's Rugby Union Board challenged in court

7:53 am on 11 February 2009

Tonga's national court has heard a challenge to the recent appointment of the board of the Tonga Rugby Union.

Broadcaster Sangster Saulala was elected as chairman of the board at the TRU's annual general meeting last week with the support of most Tongan rugby clubs.

It is Mr Saulala's second tenure in the role after his previous stint culminated in the Tongan national rugby team's best ever performance in a World Cup in 2007.

However his appointment and that of the board has been challenged by Sione Taumoepeau and Mark Holjensen who claim they themselves were elected as the chair and deputy chair.

Mr Saulala says the Chief Justice is due to decide on the matter on Friday.

"Today the two people have challenged us in court and the Chief Justice says they are going to give the decision on Friday. So I think the hope of Tonga and the rugby depends on his decision. And I just hope he makes the right decision - not just for anybody but for the country."