'I'm Tongan as well' – Kiwis captain praises Auckland Mate Ma'a Tonga supporters

The fanatical support for Mate Ma'a Tonga from the Auckland community hasn't gone unnoticed by the Kiwis, relishing the impact the fans are having on the international rugby league window.

With the Tongan side having arrived in New Zealand this week ahead of next week's Test with the Kangaroos in Auckland, thousands of fans have again turned out to show their support for the Pacific powerhouses, while the match itself is on course for a sellout.

Despite their flight being delayed a few hours from Sydney the Tongan fans showed their support at Vodafone Events centre in Manukau. Source: 1 NEWS

Speaking to media in Auckland today, Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak said that his side aren't being distracted by the Tongan supporters.

Team spirit in the Tongan camp is sky high, as the team welcomes their new assistant coach into the fold. Source: 1 NEWS

"(It's) not too bad because I'm Tongan as well," he joked.

"It's a good thing for the game. As Mal (Meninga) was talking about, having games back here.

"The Tongan people, are prideful about their country, and where they come from, and I feel it's a good thing for the game.

Despite their flight being delayed a few hours from Sydney the Tongan fans showed their support at Vodafone Events centre in Manukau. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's just going to build and build, and hopefully we can return the favour with our fans doing the same."

The Pacific powerhouse are in town ahead of next week's clash with the Kangaroos. Source: 1 NEWS


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