Sione Tongia hopes to make the Tongan World Cup Team this year.
Sione Tongia hopes to make the Tongan World Cup Team this year. Christopher Chan GLA260213TONG

Rugby league and Tonga are closest to Capras player's heart

THERE is two things that Sione Tongia is passionate about: rugby league and Tonga.

To combine the two and play for Tonga in a rugby league world cup team would be a dream come true for the Gladstone Wallabys player.

In fact, he said his goal was to achieve it this year.

"I have played two years for Tonga and would love to get another chance to represent pride of country," Sione said.

In 2010 and 2011 Sione said he played for Tonga in the Pacific Tour.

"It was good .

"It was a special feeling.

"It's honour and pride to represent my country and where I come from."

Starting rugby league at the age of 12 in New Zealand, Sione said it was something he liked doing and continued after moving to Australia three years ago.

"I enjoy rugby league.

"It keeps me out of the couch."

Rugby league takes up a lot of Sione's weekly schedule with commitments to Central Queensland Capras as well as Wallabys.

Sione said he trained with Capras Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and when he could he would train with Wallabys Tuesdays and Thursdays, not to mention a game every weekend.

"If I don't make Capras team that week I'll be back playing for Wallabys."

His other goals included trying to make top eight with Capras and playing professional rugby league.

Although rugby league had made progress in Tonga, Sione said it was just getting started and he would like to see it develop further.

"Last time I spoke to the Tongan coach we had this vision of taking the sport back to Tonga and teaching it to the young ones.

"I'd love that opportunity.

"Any opportunity to help out young ones, I'd take it with two hands."