Despite ‘serious concern’ after Supreme Court decision, World Rugby vows to support Tonga

Interim Executive Chairman Fe'ao Vunipola. Photo/Digicel (Facebook)

World Rugby said it will continue to help Tonga rugby despite its “serious concern” over the impact of a Supreme Court decision quashing changes members had made to the Union’s constitution last year.

The international body had written to Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, Interim Executive Chairman Fe’ao Vunipola and others with a proposal it said should help keep TRU moving forward.

World Rugby had confirmed Fe’ao Vunipola will remain as Interim Executive Chairman of Tonga Rugby Union (TRU) since his appointment was made before the amendments to the constitution took place.

It is understood Vunipola was expecting to call an Annual General Meeting next month  (November).

As Kaniva news reported, a Supreme Court judge revoked the amendments because no notice was given to the members of the intention to vote on the changes prior to the Annual General Meeting.

Also, the amendments were not passed by 75% of the representatives attending the meeting as required by the Constitution.

Kaniva Tonga News understands TRU has filed an appeal against the decision.

“This decision and its impact on the Tonga Rugby Union (TRU) is of serious concern to World Rugby, particularly since the national Representative team is scheduled to play important matches as part of the upcoming November tour,” a letter obtained by Kaniva News which showed David Carrigy, World Rugby’s Head of Development & International Relations, as writer, said.

“It is paramount to the reputation of Tonga and the Tonga Rugby Union that these matches are played without being impeded by governance issues,” the letter said.

“All parties to the Joint Management Committee have Tongan rugby Union’s best interests at heart and while the issues relating to the governance are outstanding World Rugby will continue to implement the High Performance programme agreed by the Joint Management Committee since that course of action will be most effective in continuing to promote, protect and develop Tonga rugby.

“Mr Vunipola will refrain from taking any major or important decisions (since there is effectively no Board to provide him with a mandate to act) and any actions taken by him as interim Executive Chairman will be solely to retain the status quo until a new Board is elected following a properly convened AGM”, the letter said.

“The Tonga Rugby team will continue under the jurisdiction of the Tripartite Committee will play in its scheduled Matches in November as planned and, The Tripartite committee will continue its work.

The Tongan government to pay the players their scheduled payments to ensure continuity and security for the players while the governance issues are being resolved,” it said.

Meanwhile, Head Coach Toutai Kefu has announced the ‘Ikale Tahi Team which is captained by Siale Piutau to tour Europe next month.

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  1. Kuo fakahā ‘e he ‘Akapulu ‘a Māmani ‘e kei hoko atu pe ‘ene tauhi e aleapau ke ne tokoni’i ‘a e ‘akapulu ‘a Tonga neongo ‘a ‘ene hoha’a lahi ki he ha’aha’a ‘o ha ola ‘o ha tu’utu’uni Fakamaau’anga Lahi ‘o fakata’e’aonga’i e ngaahi liliu ne fai ki he konisitūtone ‘a e ‘Iunioni he ta’u kuo ‘osi.

    Na’e fakata’e’aonga’i e ha fakamaau Fakamaau’anga Lahi e ngaahi liliu ni koe’uhi na’e ‘ikai ha fanongonongo ‘e ‘ave ki he kau mēmipa ke fakahā kia kinautolu ‘e fai hano vouti’i e ngaahi liliu ni ki mu’a, ‘i he Fakataha Fakata’u.

    ‘Ikai ko ia pe ka ko e ngaahi liliu ko ‘eni na’e paasi ‘aki e loto ki ai ‘a ha tokolahi ne ‘ikai a’u ia ki he pēseti ‘e 75 ‘o e kau fakafofonga ‘o hange ko ia ‘oku tu’utu’uni ‘e he konisitūtone.

    Mahino ki he Ongoongo ‘a e Kaniva foki kuo faile ‘e he ‘Iunioni ‘Akapulu ‘a Tonga ha tangi he tu’utu’uni ko ‘eni ‘a e fakamaau’anga.

    Kuo tohi ‘a e ‘Akapulu ‘a Māmani ki he ‘Eiki Palēmia ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, Sea Fakataimi Fe’ao Vunipola mo ha ni’ihi ‘o ‘oatu ai ha fokotu’utu’u kuo ne pehe ‘e totonu ke kei ngaholo pe ai e lele ‘a e vaka ‘o e ‘akapulu ‘a Tonga.

    Fakahā mei he ‘Akapulu ‘a Māmani he tohi ni ‘e kei hoko atu pe ‘a Vunipola ko e Sea Fakataimi ia kae ‘oua leva kuo ui ha Fakataha Fakata’u.

    Kuo mahino foki kuo ‘i ai e fokotu’utu’u ‘a Vunipola ke uki ha fakataha fakata’u ‘i he māhina katu’u.

    Na’e toe pehe he tohi ni foki ‘e kei hoko atu pe hono fakalele ‘e he ‘Akapulu ‘a Māmani ‘a e tafa’aki ki he High Performance pe ko e teu’i e timi ‘i he ngaahi tafa’aki fakamālohi sino mo ‘enau fiti.

    Ko’euhī foki kuo ‘ikai ha toe poate he taimi ni hili e tu’utu’uni ‘a e fakamaau’anga na’e pehē ‘e he ‘Akapulu ‘a Māmani ‘e ‘ikai ke toe fai ha ngaahi tu’utu’uni ki ha ngaahi kaveinga lalahi. Meimei ko ha ngaahi tu’utu’uni pe ke fakamahino ‘e kei lele pe ‘a e poate mo tali ai ki he fakataha fakata’u.

    Na’a ne toe pehe foki ke fakapapau’i ‘e he pule’anga te ne kei totongi pe kau va’inga ‘o hangē ko ia ko e aleapau ne ‘osi fai mo e paati lōtolu, ‘a ia ko e pule’anga, ‘Akapulu ‘a Māmani mo e ‘Akapulu ‘a Tonga.