"PARLIAMENT, Cabinet and the people of Tonga are united to support the Mate Ma’a Tonga in their preparation for Rugby League World Cup in London next month,” says Lord Speaker of the Legislation Assembly.
Lord Fakafanua revealed this when Parliament hosted a luncheon programme to warmly greet them yesterday.
In welcoming the team, Lord Speaker said their presence in Tonga is valued because they act as good role model for the future of Tonga.
“Being here today encourages students and youths they can make a living from rugby league if perform professionally,” explained the Hon. Speaker of the House.
Lord Fakafanua said he is confident that Parliament, Government and the people of Tonga are really proud of the team’s performance.
He also challenged the players to put God first so they could play peacefully with a cool and loving heart. The Hon. Speaker also emphasized that with God, victory is possible.
Crown Prince, Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala graced the occasion with his presence. Lord Fakafanua thanked the Crown Prince for his presence to greet the Mate Ma’a Tonga.
On behalf of the People’s Representative, Tongatapu 1 constituency MP ‘Akilisi Pohiva spoke how grateful they are to have the team over in Parliament.
Pohiva said rugby union was first introduced in Tonga but Samoa and Fiji seems to be well ahead of Tonga. He told the players Tonga has high expectation of them.
“We expect excellent performance during Rugby League World Cup,” said Pohiva.
The Minister for Internal Affairs, Lord Vaea spoke on behalf of the Nobility. He commented the Mate Ma’a Tonga for their great performance when they smashed Samoa by 36-4 in Penrith.
Lord Vaea also wished the team the best of luck in their journey.
“Play well and play as a team… and take Tonga with you as you travel across to Wales.”
Mate Ma’a Tonga Captain Brent Kite acknowledged to MPs the team is so proud to represent Tonga.
He also announced in Parliament that they are going to win.
In delivering the vote of thanks, the Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Samiu Vaipulu thanked the team for taking the time to represent Tonga.
Hon. Vaipulu said “His Majesty and the people of Tonga are here to support the Mate Ma’a Tonga.”
“We (Tonga) may be small but we have the hearts, we have the courage and will to win,” said the Hon. Acting PM.