In preparation for the upcoming fixture against Siutaka New Zealand Tonga to be held in Sydney, NSW on November 5th, the Felenite Australia Tongan Rugby team have unveiled former Wallaby number 8 David Lyons and former NRC Sydney Stars head coach Peter Playford as the co-head coaches to lead their troops against their traditional trans-Tasman rivals.
Both men bring a wealth of professional rugby experience along with them that will surely benefit the Felenite cause greatly both in the short term relating to knowledge the players involved will be exposed to and in the long term when they go back out into the community.
Lyons is a decorated Waratah and Wallaby, where he is among an elite group to have won the prestigious John Eales medal, reserved for the very best Wallabies.
Playford also had a solid professional career as a player at the Waratahs and Brumbies respectively before his role as head coach of the NRC Sydney Stars team that has now merged with NSW Country.
The duo have graciously taken up the baton due to the unavailability of former coach Sateki Tu’ipulotu upon his recent appointment with the Ikale Tahi coaching staff and are a timely addition to the Felenite ranks as explained by manager Fotu Mokofisi;
“We have sought the assistance of these two legends not only to give Felenite the best chance of not going down to big brother Siutaka on home soil but also to assist in promoting and connecting our players to overseas markets and opportunities.”
With this in mind, arrangements are being made to also live stream the fixture to reach a global audience and possible scouts for players to make their talents known.
With the Felenite quickly returning to its former glory when names like Viliami Ofahengaue, Toutai Kefu, Fili Finau, Pierre Hola and Sateki Tu’ipulotu graced the jersey and then went onto forge great rugby careers thereafter, the future looks very bright for the Tongan Australian players coming through right now.
More announcements to come in the future.