THE Mate Ma'a Tonga are confident they will emerge winners from group C which includes Scotland and Italy in the Rugby League World Cup to be held in England in two weeks.
According to the Tonga Daily News, thousands of Tongans, including the Crown Prince Tupouto'a, turned up in Nuku'alofa on Saturday, to meet the Mate Ma'a Tonga team.
The team marched from Ma'ufanga to Te'ufaiva Park with fans accompanying them throughout the one-hour procession where the players were later introduced to the crowd at Te'ufaiva Park. It was a strong show of support for the national rugby league side which was led by coach Charles Tonga and captain Brent Kite.
The team includes 11 NRL regulars and 20 players who have NRL experience.
Manly's Penrith-bound prop Kite will captain the side with Sea Eagles winger Jorge Taufua, Parramatta front-rower Fuifui Moimoi and Penrith back-rower Sika Manu also in the 24-man team.
"We are fortunate to have many young guys willing to represent the nation," coach Charles Tonga said.
"We are doing this for our people, to give back to our country."
Squad: Brent Kite (Manly, capt), Sosaia Feki, Nesiasi Mataitonga, Pat Politoni (all Cronulla), Jorge Taufua (Manly), Mahe Fonua, Siosaia Vave (both Melbourne), Siuatonga Likiliki (Newcastle), Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland), Fuifui Moimoi, Peni Terepo, (both Parramatta), Sika Manu, Daniel Foster (both Penrith), Samisoni Langi, Nafe Seluini, Daniel Tupou (all Sydney Roosters), Glen Fisiiahi, Siliva Havili, Konrad Hurrell (all Warriors), Ben Murdoch-Masila (Wests Tigers), Ukuma Ta'ai (Huddersfield), Mickey Paea (Hull KR), Willie Manu (St Helens), Sydney Havea (Liahona Old Boys).