PIRATES’ two new imports are both eyeing bigger prizes and using a season of Central North rugby to do it.
Tim Fonua or “Tongan Tim” is determined to make the Tongan World Cup squad for the 2015 England tournament.
Greg White is looking to earn a contract in England’s Championship tier by broadening his rugby experience.
One of the main experiences he is getting at the moment is sharing a house with Tongan Tim.
“My only rule is you make a mess, you clean it up,” Fonua said.
Both imports debuted last week in the two-point loss to Narrabri and, if anything, a close loss like that has brought them closer to the team and with one goal in mind.
“We have to make that top tier so we can play in the finals and make up for last year’s loss,” White said.
The inside centre from Berry St Edmonds near Cambridge has already heard enough in the changerooms to know how much that hurt the team.
After playing a season for the Cambridge 1st XV a few years ago before breaking his wrist, White wants to use his time here to improve his game enough to be offered another Championship contract.
Until then though he will be playing in the black and gold and serving beers at the Southgate Pub in between.
Fonua managed to take a lifelong memento from his first game against Narrabri that he won’t forget – a couple of stitches down the middle of his forehead from a sickening head knock, although he definitely came off best.
Fonua has added some valuable weight and height to the Pirates pack after they lost Peter Altona this year.
Tongan Tim formerly played for Warringah in the Shute Shield and was in the Auckland Blues Academy in 2007.
He is hoping to get noticed more by selectors playing country rugby while improving his game.
“I am looking to represent Tonga in the World Cup,” Fonua said.
The second-rower will send footage of his games for Pirates to selectors in the hope of getting a jersey.
“The games are a little bit slower here at the moment,” Fonua said.
“I am doing a lot of inside running.
“So far, so good.”
Fonua is working as a pressure cleaner when he is not training but has fallen in love with Tamworth and the region.
“Maybe I will retire here,” Fonua said.