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Rugby

Tonga players in champion team

Tonga players in champion team

Sanyo Wild Knights rugby team won Japan’s two most prestigious rugby competitions for 2011 after it beat the Suntory Sungoliath rugby club 28-23 at Tokyo’s Chichibunomiya Stadium on 30 January. Takai Palei reported from Tokyo that two Tongan nationals, Koliniasi Holani and Sione Talikavili Vatuvei were among the prominent players in the Sanyo’s team. Koliniasi is the vice captain, and a skillful No. 8 and Talikavili is an open-side flanker. Both Koliniasi and Talikavili are members of the Japanese national team. It was the first time the Sanyo Wild Knights have won the Top League Competition since the competition was restructured in 2003, though during the past three years they have made it to the final. At the same time, the Sanyo club has been Japan’s champion in the overall rugby league competition for three years. Competing for the Japan’s Rugby Overall Champion competition are the best six teams of the First Class, the winner of Class 2, the top two teams from the universities and the winner of the social clubs. Takai said that most of the players in the Japanese national team are selected from the Sanyo Wild Knights and the Suntory Sungoliath. Some of the Tongan rugby players who used to play for Sanyo, included Nofomuli Taumoefolau, Hopoi Taione, Sinali Latu, Uatesoni Namoa, Semi Taupeaafe, Sione Latu, Fili Finau and ‘Elisi Vunipola.

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