11 May 2017

Sport: Tonga to be boosted by Super Rugby talent

12:30 pm on 11 May 2017

Tonga's rugby coach Toutai Kefu expects to have the services of a number of Super Rugby players when he names his squad for the upcoming world cup qualifiers and the one-off test against Wales.

This week the Ikale Tahi's test against the welsh was confirmed to take place in Auckland next month as a curtain raiser to the New Zealand-Samoa match.

Wales, who will play both island nations, has already named their 32 man squad for the southern tour.

Tonga rugby coach Toutai Kefu

Tonga rugby coach Toutai Kefu Photo: Photosport

Harlequins veteran centre Jamie Roberts will captain the side missing 12 players due to British and Irish Lions commitments.

Toutai Kefu said he will name his squad in a couple of weeks and he expects to include some welcome additions

"There's been some players that we've been able to secure a release from the New Zealand Rugby Union," Kefu said.

"There will be some nice surprises, you'd say, and I am looking forward to it. I am sure the players are looking forward to it as well."

Last year the likes of Blues player Jimmy Tupou, Willis Halaholo, Leon Fukofuka and Hurricanes utility Vaea Fifita were among a group of players who declined approaches from Kefu.

Fifita was called up as as injury cover for the All Blacks on their 2016 end of year tour although he never took the field.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs