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Tonga Rugby Head Makes Bizarre Irish Gypsy Jibe In Furious Rant

Tonga Rugby Head Makes Bizarre Irish Gypsy Jibe In Furious Rant
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Tongan officials are evidently of the view that 'gypsy caravan parks in Ireland' are where the movers and shakers of Northern Hemisphere rugby like to enjoy their tete-a-tetes.

The chairman of the Tonga Rugby Union, Epi Taione (formerly known as Paddy Power - of which, more below) accused rugby's governing body of treating the Pacific Island nations like second class countries, pointing, in particular, to the uneven distribution of funds.

Outraged at the 'colonialist bullshit' that he claims remains rampant within the corridors of 'World Rugby', he lashed out at the world rankings, suggesting they were worked in the aforementioned 'gypsy caravan park.'


The New Zealand Herald quote him as saying that the world rankings 'worked out in a gypsy caravan park in Ireland somewhere'.

While it's true that World Rugby's headquarters are in Dublin and it may be true that the Pacific Islanders are treated shabbily, we would respectfully suggest that a caravan park is an unlikely venue for such deliberations.

Rugby is so out of touch. It’s run by colonialists who still think they run the world like it was 100 years ago.
They say let's spread the game but it’s complete and utter shit.

Then, there's the money.


They want us to compete but we get $1.58 million a year while Argentina, New Zealand and the other SANZAR countries have received $18 million before the tournament.

The money should be evenly distributed. And we still only get one vote for all of the Pacific Island members - it should be Tonga one vote, Samoa one vote, Fiji one vote. I cannot see how our voice will be heard.

Taione can't be accused of half-measures when it comes to raising money for his beloved Tonga. As a player back in 2007, he changed his name to Paddy Power as part of a sponsorship deal which helped find their trip to France.

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