Tag: Tonga

SALFORD SIGN SITA AKAUOLA

As recruitment continues for 2022 and onwards, Salford Red Devils are delighted to announce the signing of Sitaleki Akauola on a two-year deal.

Prop Akauola arrives from fellow Betfred Super League side Warrington Wolves, who with he won the Betfred Challenge Cup in 2019.

The 29-year-old, who has represented his country Tonga at international level, started his professional rugby league career in the NRL for West Tigers and then Penrith Panthers, before moving to the UK in 2019 to sign for the Wire in 2019.

Speaking on signing for Salford, Akauola said: “I’m really looking forward to playing for Salford, it’s a club with passion and ambition.

“It’ll be great to be playing in front of that Salford faithful, who I know are a massive part of Salford Red Devils.”

Director of rugby and operations Ian Blease added:  “Sita wanted to come to Salford to show what a quality player he really is and he is a fantastic acquisition for the Club, as we look to challenge at the top of Super League again.

“He adds size, strength, athleticism and versatility to the pack and I look forward to seeing him rip it up in a Salford shirt.”

Red Devils recruitment is sponsored by Morson Group.

Join Sita in 2022 by purchasing an early bird season ticket HERE.

Tui Lolohea “We can definitely take confidence out of that”

Tongan superstar Tui Lolohea is excited for 2021 with Salford Red Devils and believes they will build even further on the achievements they have picked up over the past couple of seasons. 

Battling relegation just four years ago, Salford have reached two major final appearances in 12 months, following the arrival of Lolohea.

Lolohea said: “I think Salford have gone to another place in the last couple of years – not fighting from the bottom, but in that mid to top range which is where you want to be hitting.

“I think we’re heading in the right direction. We’re going up, not down, which is good for a club.”

Season tickets for 2021 are already on sale and he halfback has identified the start of the campaign as key.

“I think if we started this season even a game or two better, we’d probably be in the running for this top six,” Lolohea said.

“I think it’s important at the beginning, if you can get some points in early and hold on, you’re in a good place to head towards that final series.”

The Red Devils had a great end to the season, with some big wins against the likes of Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves, results that the 25-year-old wants to build on in 2021.

“We can definitely take confidence out of that,” added Lolohea.

“We played Wigan after that Challenge Cup Final and we got belted and it didn’t show what we were about.

“I think we learned a lesson from that and we won our next few games, which shows we can bounce back from those sort of things we’ve just got to do it more consistently.”

On a personal level, the Tongan had an impressive end to the year with a handful of tries and assists, form he is hoping to build on come nest season.

“I want to be better every year,” said Lolohea.

“Next year is obviously World Cup year as well, so I want to be playing the best footy I can leading into that World Cup, to give my country the best opportunity by performing the best I can.”

Supporters can get behind Lolohea and his teammates, by purchasing their 2021 season tickets early. Adult prices have been reduced across all areas, making it even more affordable to watch the team next year. Further details can be found HERE.

Great Britain return to face New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Tonga

The iconic Great Britain jersey will return to the international stage this autumn.
The recent meeting of the Rugby League International Federation confirmed a four-match tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions – with full details of the schedule to be released in Auckland tonight.
It will be the first time Great Britain have played since the home series against New Zealand in the autumn of 2007, and their first appearance in the southern hemisphere since the 2006 Tri-Series – reviving a tradition which dates back to 1910, when the first touring team after the 1895 Northern Union breakaway were known as the Lions.
In addition to two Tests against the Kiwis and one against the Kumuls – the latter a first in Papua New Guinea since 1996 – Great Britain will play their first ever Test against the Tonga team who made such an impact in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, including in a stirring semi final against England in Auckland.
Wayne Bennett, who has been the England coach since 2016, will be the head coach of the 2019 Rugby League Lions, with further details of his support staff, the composition of the squad and the selection process, the kit design, and kick-off times and travel packages for the tour to follow in coming weeks.
“It’s an honour to be involved in the revival of the Great Britain team as head coach,” said Bennett.
“I’ve coached against them in the past with Australia, and wherever you’re from in the world of Rugby League, that Great Britain jersey is a famous one – and I’m sure the current generation of players will be excited by the prospect of wearing it and representing their country in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
“It’s an exciting prospect for international Rugby League, and good to have that Great Britain tradition back.”
Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said:“The return of the famous Great Britain jersey is something people have been talking about for a long time – so this is an exciting announcement for us.
“It’s 12 years since Great Britain last played a Test, and 13 since they last travelled to the southern hemisphere, for the Tri-Nations series of 2006.
“While the development of the England Performance Unit has been a priority and a success for the RFL, across Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League – and will continue to be as we build towards the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – there is such history and tradition around that Great Britain shirt.
“It’s great for the game to have it back, as part of the schedule drawn up by the RLIF also including the Oceania Cup. We’ll be committed to respecting and honouring that tradition as we build up to the tour through 2019.”
The announcement has also been welcomed by senior figures from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Barry Coade, Chairman of Rugby League Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Great Britain & Ireland will tour again this Autumn. The tour looks like a real challenge given the rise of the Pacific nations and we think this is a big step forward for international Rugby League.”
Keith Hogg, the Chair of Scotland Rugby League, said: “Having the Great Britain team back is a boost for all of the home nations. We are proud of the contribution made by Scots to Great Britain Rugby League in the past, most obviously when Dave Valentine lifted the World Cup in 1954, and this announcement is a great incentive for young Scottish players to maintain that tradition in the future.”
Paul Chambers, General Manager of Wales Rugby League, said: “Wales Rugby League fully embrace and support the first Great Britain Rugby League tour to the Southern Hemisphere for many years. The whole concept of the Rugby League Lions adds another dimension to the ambitions of players and staff involved with all Home Nations and Wales Rugby League are looking forward to promoting and being involved in the process.”

Salford’s last representative eliminated from the Rugby League World Cup

Manu Vatuvei’s Tongan side were knocked out of the Rugby League World Cup following a semi-final defeat at the hands of England on Saturday morning.
England opened up a 20-0 lead against the surprise semi-finalists with tries from Jermaine McGillvary, Gareth Widdop and John Bateman.
However, Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolahea all went over in the space of seven minutes for the Tongan’s to almost pull off a memorable fightback.
There was late controversy as Andrew Fifita almost went over for Tonga with the final play of the game but was adjudged to have dropped the ball following a collision with Elliot Whitehead which wasn’t sent to video referee Ben Thaler by referee Matt Cecchin.
Vatuvei was the last Salford representative at the Rugby League World Cup.
New signing Gavin Bennion, who featured for Wales in the World Cup, has been in training with the Red Devils while fellow countryman Craig Kopczak has also linked up with the side today.
Ireland international Tyrone McCarthy is set to be back in training in midweek while Vatuvei will re-join the squad in the next fortnight.
England are set to face Australia in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup final at 9:00am on Saturday 2nd December with the game being live on both BBC One and Premier Sports.
 
Remember to see any of our World Cup stars in action in 2018 you can purchase your Season Ticket at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone on 0161 786 1570 or online here. A list of all our ticket prices and their respective Direct Debit payment schemes can be found here with the Direct Debit option being available from the Ticket Office or over the phone.

Red Devils duo feature for Wales in Rugby League World Cup

Salford Red Devils duo Craig Kopczak and Gavin Bennion featured in Wales’ final game of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup as they fell to a 6-34 defeat at the hands of Ireland.
Bennion, who joined the Red Devils last month, made his debut for the Welsh national side while Kopczak again captained John Kear’s side.
However, Wales suffered their third defeat of the tournament with Api Pewhairangi, Joe Philbin, Liam Finn and Liam Kay all crossing alongside an Oliver Roberts double for the Irish. Ben Morris scored Wales’ only try.
Salford Red Devils forward Tyrone McCarthy didn’t feature for Mark Aston’s men who unfortunately exit the tournament despite winning two of their three group games.
Manu Vatuvei didn’t feature for Tonga in their memorable 22-28 victory over New Zealand but could be in the running for a place in their quarter-final clash with Lebanon on Saturday 18th November in Christchurch.
 
Remember you can see all four of the Salford Red Devils World Cup representatives in action in 2018 by purchasing your Season Ticket. A full list of prices can be found here while a Direct Debit breakdown of each ticket can be seen here. Visit the Club Ticket Office, phone 0161 786 1570 or purchase online here. Direct Debit isn’t available online.

Two Salford Red Devils in Wales squad for Round 3 of the RLWC

Wales captain and Salford Red Devil Craig Kopczak is named in Wales starting 13 ahead of their final group game against Ireland.
New arrival Gavin Bennion is on the interchange bench for John Kear’s side while Tyrone McCarthy is named in Ireland’s 21-man squad but not in the starting line-up.
Manu Vatuvei misses out on a place in Tonga’s starting 17 but is named amongst the 21-man squad for their massive game against New Zealand. Vatuvei won the Rugby League World Cup with the Kiwis in 2008 and the game will also have massive significance for Jason Taumalolo who made a switch of allegiance ahead of the competition.
Tonga take on New Zealand on Saturday 11th November and the game will be shown live on Premier Sports at 04:00am while Wales against Ireland can be seen at 07:30am on Sunday 12th November.

Four Red Devils named in Rugby League World Cup squads

Four Salford Red Devils have been named in their respective countries squads for the second round of fixtures at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. 
Craig Kopczak will once again captain Wales as they face Fiji in Townsville. Salford new-boy Gavin Bennion is also named in John Kear’s 21-man squad after linking up with the team this past week.
Manu Vatuvei has been named in Tonga’s 21-man squad as they look to make it two wins from two on Saturday against Samoa.
After impressing in Ireland’s victory over Italy last weekend Tyrone McCarthy is again named in Mark Aston’s squad as the Irish get ready to do battle with Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
 
Remember if you want to watch the Red Devils World Cup stars next season you can secure your 2018 Season Ticket at the best price and via Direct Debit before the 3rd November. Direct Debit can be set up by ringing 0161 786 1570 or visiting the Club Ticket Office. 2018 Season Tickets can also be purchased online here.

Red Devils feature in World Cup victories

Salford’s Manu Vatuvei and Tyrone McCarthy both featured in respective victories for their countries on matchday one of the Rugby League World Cup.
Vatuvei, who has previously won the tournament with New Zealand, was named at full-back for Tonga in a comfortable 50-4 victory over Scotland.
Micheal Jennings was the Man of the Match crossing for a hat-trick of tries alongside scores from Jason Taumalolo, Sika Manu, Daniel Tupou and Peni Terepo. Danny Addy got the Bravehearts on the scoresheet but Steve McCormack’s side couldn’t handle the powerful Tongans.
McCarthy came off the interchange bench in Ireland’s surprise win over Italy in Cairns on Sunday morning. Toronto winger Liam Kay scored twice out wide either side of a George King effort. Saints duo Kyle Amor and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook both crossed as well as Michael Morgan in the second half.
Justin Castellaro scored a 70-metre interception try for the Italians before Nathan Milone went over but the Azzurri couldn’t stir a comeback.
Ireland travel to Port Moresby to face a Papua New Guinea side full of confidence following their hammering of Wales while Italy face the USA.

Three Red Devils named for match day one of the RLWC

Four Salford Red Devils have been named in their respective countries squads for the opening round of fixtures in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Craig Kopczak is set to captain the Welsh side in their first group game against Papua New Guinea at the Oil Search NSF Stadium in Port Moresby at 5:00am (3pm PGT).
Manu Vatuvei has been named in the Tonga squad for their opener against Scotland on Sunday at Barlow Park, Cairns with a 6:15am kick-off (17:15 AEDT).
Fellow mid-season signing Tyrone McCarthy will feature for Ireland as they take on Italy at Barlow Park, Cairns prior to the Tonga vs Scotland game in the first double-header. The game will kick-off at 4:00am (15:00 AEDT).
All three games are set to be shown in full on Premier Sports.
 
Salford Red Devils 2018 Season Tickets are still on sale with the ‘early bird’ window now having less than two weeks remaining. Supporters will need to purchase before the 3rd November if they wish to pay for their 2018 Season Ticket via Direct Debit. All 2018 Season Ticket prices can be found here while a full Direct Debit breakdown can be found here. 

Vatuvei included in Tonga’s Rugby League World Cup squad

Manu Vatuvei has been named in the Tongan squad for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.
Vatuvei, who debuted and scored for Tonga earlier in the year after featuring regularly for New Zealand, joined the Red Devils midway through the season.
The former New Zealand Warriors winger scored five tries in eight games since joining Salford prior to the Challenge Cup semi-final.
Ben Murdoch-Masila has also been included in the squad following a fantastic season at Salford.
Kristian Woolf’s Tongan side are set to face Scotland in Cairns on 29th October before facing rivals Samoa and New Zealand in Hamilton on the 4th and 11th November.
The full Tongan squad is as follows:
Andrew Fifita, Mahe Fonua, David Fusitu’a, Siliva Havilli, Ata Hingano, Will Hopoate, Konrad Hurrell, Michael Jennings, Solomone Kata, Sione Katoa, Samisoni Langi, Tuimoala Lolohea, Sika Manu, Manu Ma’u, Sam Moa, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Joe Ofahengaue, Tevita Pangai Jnr, Ukuma Ta’ai, Sio Siua Taukieaho, Jason Taumalolo, Peni Terepo, Daniel Tupou, Manu Vatuvei.