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.
Aside from the growing feel good stories and renewed momentum for a Pacific Super Rugby team, that has partly arisen from New Zealand rugby’s recent push to promote the game in the Pacific, one thing is evidently clear when it comes to Tonga, the third pillar of the Pacific’s traditional trio of rugby powerhouses alongside Fiji and Samoa, is that the humble home of the Ikale Tahi is in real danger of being left behind and missing out on the festivities altogether.
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.
What compels a soldier to stand and fight in the face of danger? To put the welfare of others before their own? The worthy possible answers are complex and many in number but perhaps one of those answers lies in the remarkable story of Criff Tupou.