Tonga Rugby League Implementation Committee begins search for directors

31st March 2020, 08:12


Tonga Rugby League Implementation Committee begins search for directors

An implementation committee has been formed to help with the preparation of an application for Tongan membership of International Rugby League (IRL). The move, which follows the expulsion of the governing body from the membership, was initiated by 20 Tongan clubs who are keen to ensure the kingdom returns to full membership of the sport’s international federation.


The four-strong committee includes two independent members from Tonga; one, Ikani Taliai provides a good understanding of the local clubs and sporting landscape, while the other, Suliana Mone, is a constitutional lawyer; Konrad Hurrell will represent the national playing group and Gareth Holmes will be an Asia-Pacific Rugby League representative.


IRL Global Operations Manager Danny Kazandjian said:


“Over the past six months IRL has sought the opinions and views of the various constituencies that make up the Tongan rugby league community, through surveys, face-to-face and phone interviews and a consultation phase. The response shaped a consensus for the next steps to stabilise Tongan rugby league. The suggestions IRL originally made in December were a result of those stakeholder interventions and intended to strengthen governance of the sport in the country.


“The bulk of Tongan clubs who participated in the consultation have now requested that IRL works closely with them to help them to immediately enact the recommendations. The first of those recommendations was the formation of the implementation committee, which is now coordinating efforts between the various parties.”

On behalf of the committee, Gareth Holmes said:


"The implementation committee is now inviting candidates of unimpeachable integrity and the highest ethical standards to apply for the roles of independent chair and independent finance director. Once the roles are filled the new organisation will be in position to prepare and present its application for membership of IRL.”


Candidates should express their interest by emailing by Monday 13 April 2020. Please refer to the below criteria when applying for any of the available positions:



  • Fluent in oral and written Tongan and English
  • Firm understanding of the Tongan cultural and sporting landscape
  • Experience in leadership and with proven ability to lead diverse organisations with multiple stakeholder groups
  • Ability to implement and deliver on strategic goals
  • Proven ability to liaise with international organisations 
  • A firm understanding of rugby league in Tonga and the place of Tongan rugby league on an international level
  • Demonstrate ability to ensure unity of all stakeholder groups in Tonga whilst simultaneously maintaining good relations with international stakeholders and garnering the trust and support of all these parties 


Finance/Compliance Director

  • Appropriate financial qualifications and professional experience 
  • Experience in having kept accounts and/or financially advised incorporated societies or other equivalent organisations
  • Budget management, forecasting and auditing experience
  • Experience in negotiation, grant sourcing and relationship with government