Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has applauded the Tongans who returned to their homeland to represent their country at the Rugby League World Cup.
He described the move as admirable.
“I applaud the Tongan players who returned home to carry the name of their country,” Tuilaepa said.
“I also applaud efforts by our Toa Samoa players who played for our country, despite their coach saying they played like students.
“Hopefully that is just a warm up for them and they will play well in their upcoming game.
“Let’s hope they will do well in the next game.”
The Toa Samoa will take on Mate Ma’a Tonga’s in Hamilton tonight.
“I’m also impressed with how the Fijians and Papua New Guineans played,” Tuilaepa said.
“What I am seeing is the rise of Pacific rugby; I take my hat off to you, but most especially to the Tongan players who did not look at the financial benefit of playing for the bigger league teams.
“They have opted to return home and represent their country and carry their flag with passion.
“I pray that the Samoan players will return home and do the same in the future,” said Tuilaepa.