Tonga NRL expelled from international rugby league

A new governing body will have to take charge of rugby league in Tonga after the Tonga National Rugby League (TNRL) was expelled from International Rugby League.

Following a dramatic fallout last year between the governing body and players, Tonga were pulled from the World Cup 9s and the international series including the Great Britain tour.

A deal was struck between the players and the organisers which saw them compete under the banner of Tonga Invitational, where they secured famous wins over both Australia and Great Britain.

The TNRL has been suspended since October, but their permanent expulsion from International Rugby League has now been confirmed following a Special General Meeting of the IRL board.

An IRL statement said: “TNRL had appealed the original decision and appeared at the SGM to present their case to the membership. The membership heard and were able to question testimony from TNRL and from IRL investigators before voting to confirm support for the Board’s original decision.

“IRL now expects, in due course, an application for membership to be received from the Tongan rugby league community.”

Tonga’s next scheduled test match against New Zealand in June has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

About James Gordon 7067 Articles
Love Rugby League editor. Founded the website back in 2005. Worked with a range of clubs and sponsors during that time. Also commentates for BBC.


  1. Thank you IRL for doing us most Tongans in Tonga and overseas a humongous favour, by booting the ass of the rebellious TNRL. The Secretary of the TNRL who happens to be a lawyer by profession, William Edwards jr, mistakenly thought he was going to successfully challenge the IRL into a gun fight…lol. That their ass has been kicked, and put in its rightful place, now we can rest assured that our Tongan flags will still be waving from our homes and vehicles for Taumalolo, Fifita, Taukei’aho, and the boys in their next game under the banner MMT; and we can’t wait to flood the stadium again with our flags and costumes in the long awaited match against the Kiwis in Auckland. Thank you again IRL. By K. Tupou.

  2. Sport is about fairness and there is nothing fair about kicking out a small Kingdom like Tonga by this draconian organisation. IRL fail to recognise the Tonga Court decision regarding this matter. And In that respect the IRL is more a dictator than a sport organisation. Funny how the unseen Coronavirus put a stop to their rolling money machine 🧐

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