Tonga have qualified for the World Rugby U20 Trophy 2019 after confirming their place with a 27-20 defeat of Samoa in Apia on Saturday to win the Oceania Rugby U20 Trophy title.
Tonga last played in the World Rugby U20 Trophy in 2015, a year after recording their best result as runners-up to Canada, and join host nation Brazil and Japan, the side relegated from the World Rugby U20 Championship 2018, as the three confirmed teams.
The remaining five players will come from regional qualifying tournaments with Asia next to confirm their representative later this month.
Tonga had beaten their hosts Samoa 16-12 in an equally tight match on Tuesday and came out on top in another physical encounter at the Marist St Joseph Park in Apia.
Lisiate Folau scored two of Tonga's three tries in the win with Hateni Tafolo converting them all and adding a penalty and drop goal in the victory.
“I am so proud of the boys' performance and I also want to thank the Samoan team for giving us a good game,” Tonga captain Pita Halaifonu said.
His Samoan counterpart Simon Peter Toleafoa added: “There were errors and just little things went against us. We did try and work on things from the first game but I guess it was not a complete performance. The Tongans were content and we didn’t apply the pressure. They were playing on the right ends.”
Photo: Oceania Rugby