TODAY |

Tongan rugby team hoping to draw on passionate Auckland support ahead of World Cup

Tonga coach Toutai Kefu hopes to draw on the passionate support of Auckland's large Tongan population when his team take on Fiji at Eden Park in August.

Tonga and Fiji clash in Auckland on the same day as Manu Samoa play a Heartland XV, as part of a combined World Cup warm-up event.

Matches involving the Tongan rugby league team in New Zealand have drawn massive support, and Tonga's touch-down in Auckland ahead of the 2011 World Cup was one of the enduring images of the tournament.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The former Wallaby couldn’t resist a sly jab as it was announced Tonga will play Fiji at Eden Park in August. Source: 1 NEWS

Kefu said he hoped his side would generate such excitement this time around.

"I think it's more good than bad, our guys play on emotion, and they get a lot of that emotion from family, from supporters.

"It could be a distraction, sure, but it's more of a plus for us.

"And if we can feed off that and use that, it's going to put us in good stead." 

Your playlist will load after this ad

Coach Toutai Kefu said his players draw strength from family and emotion, so are looking forward to a warm welcome when they play at Eden Park. Source: 1 NEWS