Tonga Rugby Union faces fi­nan­cial obliv­ion

The Timaru Herald - - Sport -

The Tonga Rugby Union is fac­ing fi­nan­cial obliv­ion if it fails to sign up to a new gov­ern­ing ar­range­ment.

World Rugby is set to pull all fund­ing to the TRU if it fails to sign a tri­par­tite agree­ment to work along­side the Tonga govern­ment and global gov­ern­ing body by the end of the day.

The agree­ment would see an in­terim man­age­ment group take charge of the Union un­til long-stand­ing gover­nance is­sues are re­solved.

Pa­cific Rugby Play­ers chair­man Hale T Pole said the TRU had al­ready missed two dead­lines from World Rugby.

‘‘There was a dead­line for last Fri­day then it moved to Wed­nes­day and now it’s for today that they’ve got to sign the [agree­ment] for how TRU is go­ing to run.’’

The for­mer ‘Ikale Tahi in­ter­na­tional said the dis­pute was hav­ing a dam­ag­ing ef­fect on lo­cal rugby play­ers.

‘‘The guys over­seas they’re all right to look af­ter be­cause they come straight into the ‘Ikale Tahi team, but it’s just watch­ing all the lo­cal kids and our lo­cal premier comp in Tonga with all the non­sense go­ing on – a lot of play­ers are miss­ing out on op­por­tu­ni­ties and coaches as well and clubs just dy­ing.’’

Fe’ao Vu­nipola had been in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Tonga Rugby Union for the past five years but a per­ma­nent ap­point­ment ap­peared no closer.

T Pole said TRU pres­i­dent Siaosi Po­hiva al­legedly re­signed on Wed­nes­day out of frus­tra­tion only to come back two days later, in an ef­fort to en­sure the agree­ment is signed and World Rugby con­tinue their sup­port. RNZ

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