Following a hugely successful inaugural year, the 2016 edition of the Tupi Cup will see a number of exciting new changes come to fruition, as the tournament maintains its role as a forum to continue strengthening Tongan rugby players but also as an avenue to advocate for important issues in the Pacific.
The 2016/2017 year will mark the official transition of one of Queensland Tonga’s favourite sons from its playing ranks and officially welcome him into its coaching ranks, as the QTRU program continues its work to rebuild the program with the announcement of Samiuela Satui, as its new open men’s head coach.
Queensland Tonga Rugby Union kick off the 2016 year by announcing the instatement of Digicel as its new Platinum Sponsor. The worldwide telecommunications company has strong ties to the Pacific, sponsoring many events and national teams, but the community conscious corporate giant has also been a long time supporter of the Queensland Tonga Rugby Union program.
All involved with the the Queensland Tonga Rugby Union program are delighted to secure such a significant strengthening of a relationship that will see the Queensland Tonga program and all its teams now run out as the official “Digicel Queensland Tonga Rugby Union” teams in 2016 and hopefully into the future.
The announcement of the relationship with Digicel also marks the beginning of what shapes to be a very busy year for the Queensland Tonga Rugby Union program. This year will see the second instalment and expansion of the Fa’aleo Tupi Cup with new teams set to be added to the existing three foundation teams Alamuhu, Logan Inala, and Northside Tongan Barbarians teams.
Additionally, there will be an official womens competition and excitingly the first ever Boys Under 18’s component added to the 2016 Tupi Cup program as Queensland Tonga Rugby begin looking to the future. Aside from the honour of hoisting the Tupi Cup, all teams will be playing for a chance to earn themselves a precious Queensland Tonga jersey.
Waiting in the wings: The expansion of the Tupi Cup will see talent like Quentin Mahina get a chance to shine.
Next Level: The women’s component of the Tupi Cup will get an upheaval that will see talents like Eseta Fangaloka compete for silverware.
Bigger and Better: More teams will look to claim this year’s cup.
Exciting announcements will be made very shortly regarding scheduling for the Digicel Queensland Tonga teams that will involve games both inside and outside of Queensland.
This year also marks the Queensland Tonga Rugby Union’s official 5th year birthday, where a special dinner will be organised to celebrate the occasion and for the community to come along to and will also see the naming of the best male and female Queensland Tonga XV over those 5 years as one of the many things to take place on the night.
2016 will also see the expansion of the highly successful Mustangs program which will see a greater focus on incorporating talented women and juniors into the fold, as the Queensland Tonga program continues its work to identify and develop Tongan talent in the 7’s arena.
And finally, due to popular demand from the community, keep an eye out for special events, and coverage of special interest stories and projects from the Queensland Tongan community both rugby and non rugby related, ensuring the successful Queensland Tonga Rugby platform goes to the next level as one that promotes the great things coming out from the Tongan community.
Watch this space, 2016 is going to be a great year…. make sure you come along for the ride.