Tonga Rugby Union has announced Tevita Tuifua as the new head coach for the nation mens rugby team, the ‘Ikale Tahi, and Nili Latu as assistant coach for the next four years.

Both coaches have retired from their previous coaching commitments to take on their new roles with the ‘Ikale Tahi.

Tuifua was the head coach for the National Sevens team and Latu was the head coach for the Women’s 15 national team.

As the new coaches embark on this new rugby journey, they said that funding was and still is a major challenge that they face.

“In most cases, we aren’t able to afford good players because of [the lack of] money –and I think everyone who has played for the ‘Ikale Tahi knows this,” said Latu.

TRU’s CEO, Aisea ‘Aholelei said that Tuifua and Latu were chosen out of over 20 candidates from around the world including, South Africa, South America and Britain.

“A shortlist was then made and it was down to the last three candidates – we looked for someone who could unite the country, the players and can improve the sport in Tonga,” said ‘Aholelei.

“And I have unwavering faith that these are the men for the job,” he said.