‘Ikale Tahi Captain, Halaleva Fifita and Hong Kong Captain Josh Hrsitch met today at the Sunshine Coast Stadium ahead of this Saturday’s Asia/Pacific Play-off, the decisive match for Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification.
This match sees both teams continuing in their campaign to secure a place at France 2023. The winner of this match will join South Africa, Scotland, Ireland, and Romania in Pool B whilst the loser will head into the Final Qualification tournament in November 2022.
The ‘Ikale Tahi have only failed to compete at a Rugby World Cup once, in 1991.
Both teams arrived on the Sunshine Coast earlier this week and have enjoyed the iconic Mooloolaba Beach and have been enjoying the coastal hospitality of Brothers Rugby Club and Noosa Dolphins.
Tonga come into the match on the back of the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup with Fiji, Samoa and Australia A in Fiji, whilst Hong Kong beat Korea earlier this month claiming the Asia Rugby Championship title.
A strong crowd is anticipated at the game on Saturday afternoon with the Queensland Tongan community coming together to bring the Kingdom to the Sunshine Coast.
Tickets are on available on ticketek starting at double passes for $20.
Gates open at 3pm with a North v South Sunshine Secondary Schools girls match will be played prior to the main game commencing at 5:30pm
Fans from across the world will be able to watch the game live on Tonga Broadcast Corp (Tonga) Digicel on paid platforms (Tonga and Pacific Islands), Stan (Australia) while Cluch.tv has acquired the rights to broadcast in all remaining markets. Simply go to the App store and search Cluch TV. Alternatively, visit Cluch.tv on web or click on the World Cup Qualifier link below to register.
‘Ikale Tahi Captain, Halaleva Fifita a man of few words, knows it is all on the line this Saturday.
“It has all come down to this, as a team will need to work hard and do what we have been doing in training out on the field” Fifita said.
Hong Kong Captain, Josh Hrsitch has enjoyed the experience and preparation support on the Sunshine Coast leading into Saturday’s game.
“We were hosted by the Noosa Rugby Club this week and it has been good getting to know the local community”.
“Our team consist of 11 different nationalities, and we have become a very tight group. The different cultures have brought different styles of play to our team, and we have been lucky enough to play as a team for a while now.”
“We look forward to showcasing our uniqueness”
Rugby World Cup 2023 Asia/Pacific Play Off Saturday 23 July 2022 Tonga v Hong Kong