Former Australia international Toutai Kefu returns as Tonga coach

Toutai Kefu previously coached Tonga between 2016 and 2019
Toutai Kefu previously coached Tonga between 2016 and 2019

Tonga Rugby Union has confirmed that former Australia international Toutai Kefu has been reappointed as the head coach of the national side.

Kefu was first appointed in charge of Tonga in 2016 and guided them until the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Under him, Tonga finished as runners up in the 2017 and 2018 editions of Pacific Nations Cup.

He also had worked with Sunshine Coast Stingrays, Kubota Spears and Queensland Country and had played 60 Tests for Australia between 1997 and 2003 and was part of the squad that competed in the 1999 World Cup.

Tonga Rugby Union in a statement said the 46-year-old was a "unanimous choice" of the 35 applicants for the role.

“Toutai led a positive team culture . . . which positively impacted performance”.

“In addition, statistically Tonga was ranked either second or third among Tier 2 nations in every significant statistical category, sharing these positions with Fiji. Only Japan ranked higher than these two nations. ”

The board also confirmed that Kefu will be involved in selecting the squad for their World Cup qualifying matches in July.