13 Dec 2012

Sport: Tonga Rugby aiming for steady growth after big 2012

11:18 am on 13 December 2012

The head of the Tonga Rugby Union says, after an action packed 2012, the challenge ahead is to create stability and maintain high performance both and off the field.

In May, Tongan rugby marked a major milestone, voting in its first democratically elected administration in two years.

A new 'Ikale Tahi head coach was also appointed, and the national side rose up to 11th on the IRB World Rankings.

The President and Chair of the TRU, Epeli Taione, feels the Union is heading in the right direction but says they need to build on that in 2013.

"The biggest challenge at the moment is just to make sure we do as a administration want stability, we want finance. Our biggest problem is always cashflow, is always finance so we're trying to make sure we do identify that, we do ok as a business and run Tongan Rugby as a business and get as much sponsorship and investment that we can for Tonga. Fingers crossed it will happen and will continue to flourish in the years to come."

Epeli Taione says he also expects the national sevens and Under 20 teams to qualify for their respective elite tournaments next year.