Tongans land in the borough

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SOME of the world’s best rugby players were honoured at a special ceremony last night.

The Tongan team was welcomed to the borough by the Deputy Mayor Phyllis Cullen and a host of local dignitaries at a civic reception at Wigan Town Hall, where they performed the Haka.

The Tonga national  rugby leage team at Wigan Town Hall with Sipi Tau (Haka) leader Silivia Havili

The Tonga national rugby leage team at Wigan Town Hall with Sipi Tau (Haka) leader Silivia Havili

They were greeted by representatives from Wigan Warriors and Leigh Centurions while pupils from St George’s Primary School in Atherton, sang for them.

The international side will be based in Leigh during the Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off on Saturday.

Tonga are training at Leigh Sports Village and play the Cook Islands athere on Tuesday, November 5.

Coun Cullen said: “It was an honour to meet the Tongan team and officially welcome them to Wigan.

“We’re thrilled they have chosen to be based in Leigh for the duration of the tournament. I’m sure they will be delighted with the facilities at their disposal at Leigh Sports Village. It’s an excellent asset for the community and one we are all rightly proud of.”