Toutai Kefu hopes his ‘Ikale Tahi players can give the people of Tonga a “massive reason to smile”. When they face Samoa in their 2023 Rugby World Cup qualification. Tonga will face Samoa at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday. In the first leg of the play-off to determine Oceania 1’s qualifier for RWC 2023 France tickets.
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The second leg will take place at FMG Stadium in Hamilton on July 17. With the overall winner taking their place in Group D, alongside England, Japan, Argentina, and the America 2 qualifier.
Tonga remains one of the few countries in the world that has not yet recorded a case of COVID-19. However, that doesn’t mean the pandemic hasn’t had an impact on the Pacific island nation.
The State of Emergency has been in place since March 2020. And the population will continue to live under its restrictions until at least August 2.
“[Qualifying] would mean a lot to our people,” Ikale Tahi coach Kefu told World Rugby. The fans can also buy France Rugby World Cup tickets 2023 from us.
“I remember once we qualified for the last World Cup. Our entire island nation was baffling. And that I received tons of fanfare and tons of positive mail and feedback for creating the planet Cup.
“Especially with all the challenges we’ve faced, if we could do that, not only would our fans be very happy, but I think it would give them a massive reason to smile and [provide] some happiness in their lives.”
Pandemic-related travel restrictions ensured Kefu could not call up his full squad for matches against Samoa, or last weekend’s loss to New Zealand. For Rugby World Cup tickets 2023 visit our website.
A Tongan team with 13 unseated players conceded 16 attempts in a 102-0 loss to All Blacks in Auckland, but Kefu, winner of the Rugby World Cup with Australia in 1999, has been impressed with the attitude of his players in training this week and praised their ability to recover from what was a painful defeat.
“Obviously, putting the team together and selecting a team, there were some challenges,” Kefu said.
“Most of them were from New Zealand, so it was exciting to see new players. And I think some of these players are going to have very long runs with ‘Ikale Tahi.
“He’s had some problems, he’s what he is. Samoa had the same challenges as us when it comes to putting together a team, preparing them. RWC 2023 France tickets are available on our website
“They probably had an additional week and an additional game than we did. But for our guys, I’m proud of the way they just pushed it aside and just moved forward.” Kefu added: “The boys just didn’t give up (against New Zealand), they continued until the final whistle.
“No one likes to be beaten by 100 points, and that i felt their embarrassment. I really feel for the boys but we had really good support from loyal supporters, family, and friends. “So it was great, you know, this week can’t come fast enough for us to All Blacks behind us.”
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