Queensland Tonga Head Coach Samiuela Satui has begun his term as head coach by ushering in a bold new squad with a youthful focus, as the program looks to unearth and develop the Queensland Tongan community’s next wave of rugby talent.
After an impressive Tupi Cup campaign for eventual champions Logan Inala, the official reign of Chazz Mahina has also begun after officially being handed the captaincy for 2016.
The 2016 squad has a total of 13 debutants being named for the very first time, seven of them from Logan Inala after irresistable form in the Tupi Cup making it impossible not to choose them in the team.
Those players are Tevita Ahosivi, Alex Fogavini, Paula Katoa, Andy Piutau, Viliami Raea, Henry Stowers, and Vili Tuakalau (pictured above).
Fogavini, Stowers and Barbarians halfback Lua Vailoaloa qualify through Tongan grandparent ancestry.
In any rebuilding phase there still needs to be enough senior players involved to usher in the next wave of talent. The return of experienced centre Sione Piutau and Alamuhu lock Johnathan Kalauta will ensure that is the case.
Head coach Samiuela Satui is definitely looking forward to what this new look squad will bring.
I’m looking to bring a new style to the way Queensland Tongan teams traditionally play, and am really excited with the squad we’ve assembled.
In a further pledge to develop talent, coach Satui has also named Joey Kaliopasi (Vikings), Junior Filipine (Barbarians), Quinton Mahina (Logan Inala) and Tim Tavalea Jnr (Alamuhu) as development players to also join the squad as players of the future.
The official 2016 Queensland Tonga Squad:
1. Tevita Ahosivi (Logan Inala)
2. Mosese Fainga’anuku (Vikings)
3. Sione Feao (Alamuhu)
4. Christian Filipine (Barbarians
5. Alex Fogavini (Logan Inala)
6. Tevita Funaki (Barbarians)
7. Simana Halaifonua (Logan Inala)
8. Sione Na’a Helu (Barbarians)
9. Jonathan Kalauta (Alamuhu)
10. Paula Katoa (Logan Inala)
11. Efitusi Ma’afu (Barbarians)
12. Tonga Ma’afu (Vikings)
13. Sitiveni Mafi (Barbarians)
14. Chazz Toli Mahina (C – Logan Inala)
15. Maile Ngauamo (Logan Inala)
16. Andy Piutau (Logan Inala)
17. Sione Piutau (Logan Inala)
18. Somi Pulu (Barbarians)
19. Viliami Raea (Logan Inala)
20. Kristian Satui (Barbarians)
21. Sitanisilao Satui (Barbarians)
22. Henry Stowers (Logan Inala)
23. Vili Tuakalau (Logan Inala)
24. Lua Vailoaloa (Barbarians)
25. Siupeli Vaipulu (Barbarians)
Joey Kaliopasi (Vikings)
Junior Filipine (Barbarians)
Quinton Mahina (Logan Inala)
Tim Tavalea Jnr (Alamuhu)
Coach: Samiuela Satui
Assistant Coach: Mosa Afu
Strength and Condutioning: Tevita Senituli Peu
Manager: Daniel Fualalo