NUKU’ALOFA,(LOVE RUGBY LEAGUE)—Tonga coach Kristian Woolf insists the squad he will pick for this year’s World Cup will be the strongest squad the nation has ever had in rugby league.
The Tongan national squad have enjoyed a meteoric rise through the rankings in international rugby league in recent years.
They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2017 before going on to claim historic wins over Australia and Great Britain in 2019.
Woolf, who is also coach of Super League champions St Helens, believes Tonga will have their best squad yet at this autumn’s World Cup, which is hosted in England.
Woolf told Love Rugby League: “I think we have got a real opportunity at the end of the year.
“We are going to put together a great squad. We’re going to put a squad stronger than any squad we’ve put together.
“We had great success in 2017 and 2019 and the squad is going to be stronger again and more experienced.
“We’ve got a genuine opportunity through the way we play and results we get. We’ve got a real opportunity to not just put smiles on faces, but make people really proud to be Tongan. That’s what this groups done better than anyone I’ve ever seen before.
“They make people really proud to be Tongan and make people really reunited which they’ve got the opportunity to do again.”
St Helens just want to help put smiles back on the faces of the people in Tonga as they prepare to raise more support for the island.
The reigning Super League champions have launched a kind initiative which will see training kit and sports equipment sent to Tonga following the Pacific island’s devastating tsunami in January.
Saints are encouraging fans to either donate old replica playing shirts, old balls and any other sports equipment or clothing as they prepare to ship items over to Tonga which has suffered catastrophic damage.
St Helens also wore special warm-up tops ahead of their win over Warrington on Friday. They wore a Tongan flag on their jerseys for the match….