Vintage Reds XV to take on Tongan Invitational XV to raise funds for the Tonga recovery effort

Queensland Rugby legends will come together next month to raise funds for the Tongan recovery effort with a Vintage Reds XV set to take on a Tongan Invitational side at Suncorp Stadium.

The fixture, which will kick-off before the Queensland Reds’ Super Rugby Pacific opener against the Melbourne Rebels, will see the likes of James Horwill, Scott Higginbotham and David Croft lace up the boots for the Vintage Reds, while George Smith, Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri will feature for the Tongan side coached by Toutai Kefu.

Public donations generated by this special invitational game will be directed towards supporting the Tongan recovery effort following the explosion of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano and subsequent tsunami in January 2022.

Reds General Manager – Professional Rugby Sam Cordingley said: “Our hearts go out to those impacted by the disaster in Tonga.

“As a Rugby community, plenty of us and the people around us have been directly affected by this event, so we’re really looking forward to raising some much-needed funds.

“Personally, I can’t wait to watch some of the greats of our game back on the turf of Suncorp Stadium raising money for a great cause.”

Tonga Invitational XV coach and former Reds backrower Toutai Kefu said: “It means a great deal to me, my family and my community to get the opportunity to raise some funds for our people.

“Our country has been devastated by this disaster, so every cent we can raise counts.

“We’ve got some great players strapping on the boots for both teams and it’s going to be a great spectacle with some great Rugby played.”

The 40-minute match, made up of two 20-minute halves, will kick-off at 5pm on Saturday February 19 at Suncorp Stadium before the Reds take on the Rebels at 6:45pm.

It is an opportunity for the Rugby Union community in Queensland to convey their heartfelt solidarity with the Tongan people during this extremely difficult time. The public will be encouraged to donate funds towards a direct impact, on-ground organisation who are assisting the recovery of homes and lives devastated by the effects of the recent volcanic eruption. A formal announcement on this organisation and how the Rugby community can donate directly to the organisation will be announced soon.