Everything you need to know – Tonga v Papua New Guinea.
Tonga and Papua New Guinea will open Group D of the men’s tournament of the Rugby League World Cup on Tuesday evening in St Helens.
- Tonga v Papua New Guinea
- Date: Tuesday 18th October
- Kick-off time: 7:30pm
- Venue: Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens
- Group D
Tonga v Papua New Guinea team news
Tonga 19-man squad: Tupou, Talakai, Penisini, Katoa, Amone, Lolohea, Fonua-Blake, Taukeiaho, Kaufusi, Koloamatangi, Luke, Olakau’atu, Tatola, Fotuaika, Fifita, Suli, Koula, Murdoch-Masila, Katoa.
PNG 19-man squad: Macdonald, Olam, Coates, Laybutt, Lam, Albert, Ipape, Namo, Putt, Martin, Alick, Russell, Yei, Waine, Appo, Tai, Tanabi, Boas.
What the two camps are saying
Tonga co-captain Jason Taumalolo told Love Rugby League “I relish every opportunity I get to represent Tonga. This is my third World Cup playing for Tonga. Hopefully I can get one or two more in the bag.
“I enjoy coming over to this side of the world to play football. To be able to come here and do what I love for a living is good. I love it here.”
Papua New Guinea skipper Rhyse Martin said: “Like everyone, we want to win it. I think we’ve got the team to challenge that.
“We got to a quarter-final at the last World Cup so to get past that would be an achievement in itself but I’m confident that we’ve got the best Kumuls team we’ve ever had, so who knows what we can achieve? The confidence within the group is very positive and I think we can shake the tree.”
How can I watch the game on TV?
Every game across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cup tournaments is being broadcast by the BBC.
Tonga v Papua New Guinea will be live on both BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.
Odds and predictions
Tonga go into the clash in St Helens as massive favourites with Planet Sport Bet. Kristian Woolf’s side are priced at 1/33, while punters could get PNG at 12/1 to win the Group D clash.
You would expect the bookmakers to be right with this one. Tonga have enjoyed a rise on the international scene in recent years and have a successful boss in Woolf leading the group. But as the opening round has shown so far, anything can happen!