Andrew Fifita claims 30 players plan to boycott Mate Ma'a Tonga team

Headlines 16/09/2019

Andrew Fifita claims at least 30 players are ready to boycott Tonga's looming international rugby league program unless a new board is elected.

With just over a month until the inaugural World Cup Nines, to be followed by tests against Great Britain and Australia, the Tongan National Rugby League (TNRL) appears in disarray over a fallout between officials and players.

The likes of NRL stars Fifita, and Jason Taumalolo have led a campaign to oust TNRL chairman George Koloamatangi and secretary William Edwards.

Will Hopoate, Manu Ma'u, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Tevita Pangai Junior have also been public in threatening to sit out the upcoming games.

Fifita claims it's just the tip of the iceberg.

"I'm talking at least 30 people, and there's more. And we're not talking just the normal playing group with 17 of us," Fifita told AAP.

"They don't want to play for the [current] board.

"Players will stand united and just wait, because it's not just about what they've done. They've lost the trust. We need them to step aside now."

Tonga are scheduled to field a team in the nines tournament in Parramatta before the Tests against Great Britain and Australia in New Zealand.

However, the TNRL look set to call the players' bluff, having already appointed Frank Endacott as head coach after sacking Kristian Woolf.

Tonga officials have alleged Woolf has refused to give details of the team's financial accounts in Australia to the board.

While efforts have been made for a resolution, Fifita said the playing group have called for Woolf to be immediately re-instated as coach.

"Is [Endacott] the right choice? I don't think so," Fifita said.

"The guys are going behind our backs. You'd generally go to your senior leaders and ask who's the right fit for it.

"At the end of the day, we get this new board, everyone come back in. They brushed the whole coaching staff, and we don't even know who this new coach is.

"I know they're trying to reach out and we've all declined. That's just us. We're just too loyal. Woolfy never did a thing wrong."

Credit to Newshub.