Wests Tigers half Tuimoala Lolohea couldn't believe the turnout and welcome that he and his teammates received in Tonga when they arrived yesterday.
Hundreds of locals turned out at the Fua'amotu International Airport to welcome their Rugby League World Cup stars.
"Words can't describe it, coming outside and seeing them perform for us like that and seeing the fans going crazy for us it means a lot", said Lolohea.
"It's a proud moment and I will cherish this forever.
"I take it upon myself when I go out there on the field I'll just remember these people who are supportive of our team – It's an honour."
Tonga's first World Cup match is against Scotland on October 29 in Cairns.