Tonga Rugby League map


Information on this page was updated – 14/3/2014

Foundation Year – 1988

International Team – Mate Ma’a Tonga

Highest finish in World Cup – Ranked 7th (2008)

Top level domestic competition – 12 teams compete in the national competition.

History – Tonga’s close proximity to Australia and New Zealand and the increase of Tongan’s playing in the Super League and National Rugby League has been a main factor in the growth of league in the pacific nation. Tonga’s first involvement in rugby league at an international level was via the Pacific Cup competition in 1988.

Tonga also participated in the 1992 Pacific Cup competition. An indication of the ongoing growth of rugby league in Tonga, the national team made it to the Pacific Cup Final. Playing against their pacific rivals Western Samoa, the Tongan’s came close to upsetting the favourites but eventually were defeated 18 – 14

In 1995 Tonga took part in the Rugby League World Cup for the first time. In a classic game Tonga nearly knocked New Zealand out of the tournament only to go down by one point at full time. In their other game against Papua New Guinea, Tonga built up a good lead only to let it slip away in the 2nd half coming out of the game with a draw. This proved costly for Tonga as they just missed out on advancing to the semi finals.

Tonga also participated in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. Tonga performed poorly losing Pool games against France and Papua New Guinea. Tonga finished 3rd in their Pool only managing a win against South Africa and missed out on a quarter finals birth.

2006 was a big year for Tonga as they took part in the World Cup Qualifiers and the Federation Shield. Tonga beat Cook Islands and Samoa to qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup and finishing top of the pacific pool. Tonga also made it to the final of the Federation Shield going down to England 32 -14.

Tonga were favourites along with France and Samoa to make it to the semi final of the 2008 World Cup. They started well beating Ireland in their first pool game 22 – 20. The second match-up against Samoa saw Tonga go down in one of the matches of the tournament 20 -12. This loss cost Tonga a place in the qualifying semi-final leaving them to play a ranking game against Scotland. In the ranking game Tonga were never troubled and ran away with the game 48 – 0 securing 7th place in the World Cup rankings.

After the 2008 RLWC Tonga tabled a proposal to have an annual pacific type competition involving an Australia A team. Insisting that the Involvement of an Australian A team would be crucial to the ongoing success of the tournament. On the back of the success of the Tonga v Samoa World Cup match many called for the teams to play each other yearly at Penrith’s CUA Stadium. Finally in 2013 the match has become reality. 

The Rugby League International Federation announced that a Pacific Cup competition was starting up in 2009. This was in line with the RLIF’s plans to provide more international games for 2nd tier rugby league nations. Unlike the old pacific cup competitions, much is at stake in the Pacific Cup tournament as the winner will qualify for the Four Nations. Tonga’s 2009 Pacific Cup campaign got off to a bad start when they were defeated by Papua New Guinea 44 – 14 in the first weekend of the competition. The following weekend they were defeated by Fiji for the 3rd place play-off and finished the tournament with the wooden spoon.

Tonga have been placed in Group C in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) and will play all their Pool games in England. On October 29th (Tuesday) they will open their World Cup campaign against Scotland at Derwent Park, Workington. Then Tonga will play a cross group match against the Cook Islands on November 5th (Tuesday) at Leigh Sports Village. Their final match takes them to the Shay Stadium at Halifax to take on RLWC new comers Italy on November 10th (Sunday).

For the latest 2013 RLWC match information and results for Tonga visit our 2013RLWC page and click here

Dear Readers, If you have first hand knowledge of the current Rugby League situation in Tonga we would love to hear from you. Please email us at: or join our international rugby league Forums at and let us all know what’s going on in your part of the world.


2015 Rugby League Results
May 2nd Samoa 18 v Tonga 16, Gold Coast (Pacific Test)

2014 Rugby League Results
Oct 19th Papua New Guinea 32 v Tonga 18, Lae

2013 Rugby League Results
Nov 10th 4.00pm Tonga 16 v Italy 0 (World Cup)
Nov 5th 8.00pm Tonga 22 v Cook Islands 16 (World Cup)
Oct 29th 8.00pm Scotland 26 v Tonga 24 (World Cup)
Apr 20th Tonga 36 v Samoa 4 (Test Match)

2012 Rugby League Results 
May 12th United States 20 – Tonga 28 (Ohana Cup)

2010 Rugby League Results 
Oct 24th Samoa 22 – Tonga 6

2009 Rugby League Results 
Oct 31st Fiji 26 – Tonga 16 (Pacific Cup Ranking)
Oct 25th Papua New Guinea 44 – Tonga 14 (Pacific Cup)
Oct 14th New Zealand 40 – Tonga 24 (Test)
Jun 14th BARLA 30 – Tonga Residents 18

2008 Rugby League Results 
Nov 8th Tonga 48 – Scotland 0 (World Cup Ranking)
Oct 31st Samoa 20 – Tonga 12 (World Cup)
Oct 27th Tonga 22 – Ireland 20 (World Cup)
Oct 18th New Zealand 56 – Tonga 8 (World Cup Warm Up)

2007 RRugby League Results 
Oct 19th Tonga 14 – Fiji 12
Oct 10th Tonga 44 – Junior Kangaroos 6

2006 Rugby League Results 
Nov 12th England 32 – Tonga 14 (Federation Shield Final)
Nov 5th Tonga 48 – France 10 (Federation Shield)
Oct 29th England 40 – Tonga 18 (Federation Shield)
Oct 22nd Tonga 18 – Samoa 10 (World Cup Qualifier & Federation Shield)
Oct 4th Fiji 30 – Tonga 28 (World Cup Qualifier)
Sep 29th Tonga 56 – Cook Islands 14 (World Cup Qualifier)
Mar 5th Tonga 22 – Fiji 4 (Pacific Cup Final)
Tonga 62 – Tokelau 0

2005 Rugby League Results 
Oct 7th Tonga 34 – Samoa 20

2004 Rugby League Results 
Oct 23rd Samoa 52 – Tonga 18 (Pacific Cup Final)
Oct 19th Cook Islands 18 – Tonga 10
Oct 18th Tonga 22 – American Samoa 18
Oct 17th Tonga 56 – Fiji 6
Oct 4th Tonga 38 – Cook Islands 30

2000 Rugby League Results 
Nov 6th Papua New Guinea 30 – Tonga 22 (World Cup)
Nov 1st France 28 – Tonga 8 (World Cup)
Oct 28th Tonga 66 – South Africa 18 (World Cup)
Papua New Guinea 22 – Tonga 18
Jun 3rd Fiji 10 – Tonga 6

1999 Rugby League Results 
Oct 22nd New Zealand 74 – Tonga 0
Tonga 34 – Cook Islands 4
Tonga 42 – Cook Islands 2
Tonga 28 – Cook Islands 13

1998 Rugby League Results 
Tonga 24 – Samoa 8
Tonga 24 – Samoa 22
Tonga 20 – Samoa 20
Tonga 30 – Cook Islands 22
Tonga 18 – American Samoa 16
Tonga 16 – Cook Islands 8
Tonga 18 – Tokelau 4
Fiji 22 – Tonga 14
Papua New Guinea 54 – Tonga 12
Papua New Guinea 44 – Tonga 28

1997 Rugby League Results 
Tonga 14 – Fiji 14
Tonga 22 – Fiji 22

1996 Rugby League Results 
Papua New Guinea 56 – Tonga 16

1995 Rugby League Results 
Oct 10th Tonga 28 – Papua New Guinea 28 (World Cup)
Oct 8th New Zealand 25 – Tonga 24 (World Cup)

1992 Rugby League Results 
Western Samoa 18 – Tonga 14 (Pacific Cup Final)
Tonga 24 – Niue 8
Tonga 23 – Fiji 20
Western Samoa 20 – Tonga 12
Tonga 26 – Cook Islands 6

1988 Rugby League Results
Western Samoa 40 – Tonga 30
Tonga 38 – American Samoa 14