The organisers of Great Britain’s tour Down Under have terminated the Tongan National Rugby League’s agreement for the end of year Lions and Oceania Cup matches.
GB Oceania Ltd say the decision was made following breaches of the participation agreement by the TNRL and receipt of a letter from the Tongan government advising that the current board has lost the trust and support of its members, Tongan clubs and players – significantly harming the integrity of these games.
The Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) had supplied RLIF a list of Tongan players who had made themselves unavailable to play for a team with the TNRL board in governance.
The players included many of the best and highest profile Tongan players who had also indicated to the RLPA that they would make themselves available to represent the Kingdom of Tonga if overseen by a different governance structure.
Jeremy Edwards, Southern Hemisphere General Manager of RLIF said “We are committed to delivering a wonderful competition of the Oceania Cup and the GB League Lions tour and all plans are progressing well.
“We look forward to seeing a powerful Tongan team in Hamilton versus the historic GBRL Lions and in Auckland in the final Oceania Cup match against world champions Australia.
“We know the Tongan fans want to see a highly competitive team take the field and to continue showing their passion and support for their national team.”
More on Tonga