The King of Tonga Tupou VI has declared that today will be a public holiday in Tonga to honour the nation’s Rugby League team.
King of Tonga rewards nation after brilliant performance
Tonga have been the story of the Rugby League World Cup with their giant-killing performances.
Jason Taumalolo was unstoppable throughout the tournament. Many are saying his efforts cement him as the best player in the world at the moment.
They were desperately unlucky in their narrow 20-18 loss to England in the Semi Final on the weekend.
Despite Tonga having a population of a little over 100,000, there appeared to be at least 25,000 Tongans cheering on their team against England at Mt Smart stadium.
King of Tonga a big Rugby League fan
His majesty has always been a huge supporter of Rugby League in Tonga. And he is understood to have been thrilled with his nation’s performance at the World Cup.
His Majesty King Tupou VI is attending the Tonga vs England tonight. He was the first Patron of the #matemaatonga #mmt @tongaNRL HM with the 1st MMT team to participate on RLWC in 1995. Its been 22 years since HM attending/watching a Tongan RL team playing overseas #RLWC2017 pic.twitter.com/WAkEWeYYkq
— #RugbyTonga (@RugbyTON_) November 25, 2017
King Tupou VI stood with pride as his side performed the Sipi Tau prior to the match against England.
We were lucky enough to learn about the Sipi Tau when we met some of the awesome Tongan Rugby League community in Truganina.
The Tongan players will also be awarded Royal Orders from the King, to recognise their contribution to sport.
World Cup stars Jason Taumalolo, William Hopoate and Konrad Hurrell have all made the trip to Tonga to receive the award.