Fa’aleo Tupi (back row third from right) with team mates from the 1973 Ikale Tahi Squad. The late Sione Mafi (front row third from the left) and Fa’aleo Kefu (back row fourth from right) are also in the picture with a young Mal Maninga and Willie Tonga.


Queensland Tonga Rugby Union has launched the “Queensland Tonga 15’s” tournament where teams will contest the first ever Fa’aleo Tupi Cup. Fa’aleo Tupi was part of the legendary 1973 Ikale Tahi team that beat the Wallabies and is an ingrained member and supporter of the Queensland Tongan community and is the reason the Cup has been has been named the cup in his honour. 

Speaking with Tupi about the new launch, Tupi was thankful and humbled at having his achievements recognized in such a way. Tupi is the last remaining member of that famous Ikale Tahi squad that primarily lives in Queensland after fellow greats Sione Mafi and Fatai Kefu recently passed away.

The Queensland Tonga Rugby committee has taken the mindset that with the Mafi and Kefu cups already having a fond part in the historical make up of the Queensland Tongan community it was only right to also acknowledge Tupi’s achievements.

The tournament will act as the official trial for all players looking to play for the Queensland Tonga team and sees the rebirth of traditional foundation teams Alamuhu, Logan Inala Tonga, the Northside Tongan Barbarians as well an invitational TRC Warriors team that will allow our best and brightest prospects from the community to put their best foot forward for selection.

The inaugural Fa’aleo Tupi Cup is Queensland Tonga Rugby Union’s first step towards searching for the next wave of rugby talent from within the community.

The tournament is just around the corner to be held on Saturday August 15th at Norths Rugby Union club and will also be a celebration of all things Tongan in Queensland.

By James Kite



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