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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