Former Wigan Warriors coach Frank Endacott will be in charge of Tonga for their historic Test against Great Britain in Hamilton on October 26.
Endacott, who was coach of New Zealand from 1995-2000, has accepted an offer to replace Kristian Woolf, who guided Tonga to the semi-finals of the 2017 World Cup and will take over as St Helens head coach on November 1.
The new coaching staff also includes former Bradford favourite Lesley Vainikolo and fellow winger Manu Vatuvei, who finished his career in Super League with Salford.
Tonga also play Australia in the Oceania Cup in Auckland on November 2 while former Gold Coast Titans coach Garth Brennan take charge of the team for the inaugural World Nines in Sydney on October 18-19.
“It’s always a challenge to take on the top teams and both Australia and Great Britain have been in the top echelon for years,” Endacott said.
“The Mate Ma’a Tonga players are world class and we see how good they are week in and week out in both the NRL and Super League. To have a chance to work with those players will be outstanding.”
The Tonga National Rugby League is hoping the appointments will heal the rift between itself and the players caused by the removal of Woolf from his post.
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