Willie Tonga

Willie Tonga

Infobox rugby league biography
playername = Willie Tonga
fullname = Willie Tonga
nickname = Tong, Little Willie

caption =
country =
position = Centre
currentclub = leagueicon|Bulldogs|16 Bulldogs
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1983|8|8|df=yes
placeofbirth = Canberra, ACT
countryofbirth = Australia
height = 183cm (6 ft)
weight = convert|98|kg|stlb|abbr=on
club1 = leagueicon|Parramatta|16 Parramatta Eels
year1start = 2002
year1end = 2003
appearances1 = 8
tries1 = 4
goals1 = 0
fieldgoals1 = 0
points1 = 16
club2 = leagueicon|Bulldogs|16 Bulldogs
year2start = 2004
year2end = 2008
appearances2 = 81
tries2 = 37
goals2 = 0
fieldgoals2 = 0
points2 = 148
club3 =
year3start =
appearances3 =
tries3 =
goals3 =
fieldgoals3 =
points3 =
teamA = leagueicon|Queensland|16 Queensland
yearAstart = 2004
yearAend = 2007
appearancesA = 2
triesA = 1
goalsA = 0
fieldgoalsA = 0
pointsA = 4
teamB = leagueicon|Australia|16 Australia
yearBstart = 2004
yearBend = 2005
appearancesB = 6
triesB = 4
goalsB = 0
fieldgoalsB = 0
pointsB = 16
updated = 12:23, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
source =

Willie Tonga (born 8 August 1983 in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory) is an Australian rugby league player for the Bulldogs in the National Rugby League competition. He has also appeared for both Queensland in the annual State of Origin on two occasions to date in his career and for Australia on seven. His position of choice is usually at centre.

He will join the North Queensland Cowboys from the 2009 season.cite web|url=http://www.nrllive.com.au/2009-nrl-player-movements/|title=2009 NRL Player Movements|publisher=NRL Live|date=2008-10-04|accessdate=2008-10-04]

Tonga made his debut with the Parramatta Eels in 2002. He signed with the Bulldogs in 2004 and his contract ends at the end of 2008.

Born in the former Woden Valley Hospital on the 8 August 1983, Willie Tonga, born Viliami Sione Tonga (translated William) was the first child of Tongan immigrant John (Sione) Tonga and Wiradjuri woman, Maria Naden. Esi Tonga, also a Rugby League player, is his younger brother.

Showing a talent for all sports at a young age while living in Peak Hill, New South Wales, Tonga soon adopted Rugby League and played for the [Cootamundra, New South Wales|Cootamundra side while his parents attended the Bimbadeen Bible College. After leaving Cootamundra, Tonga's parents and their five children moved to La Perouse in Sydney, and Tonga played Rugby Union for the Matraville Sports High School First XV. His parents continued to move around working for the Aboriginal Inland Missionaries and the family finally settled in Cherbourg, an Aboriginal community in Queensland.

Scouted by the rugby league great, Artie Beetson, Tonga moved into the Parramatta camp. Making small but sure career moves, his best known achievements were yet to be acknowledged when he moved on to the Canterbury Bulldogs on 2004. His career catapulted in that one year, winning the hearts of State of Origin selectors, which earned him the 145th person to be chosen for the Queensland side.

Winning the NRL Grand Final with the Bulldogs in 2004, and the Dally M "Centre of the Year" award, Tonga was also picked for the Australian side for the Tri-Nations series, making his first year in the NRL his most successful to date.

On 1 April, 2008, it was announced that Tonga had signed a four year deal with the North Queensland Cowboys, commencing in 2009.fact|date=May 2008

He has been named in the Tonga training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.cite web|url=http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,12196_3935853,00.html|title=Tug-of-war over Mason|publisher=Sky Sports|date=Date|2008-08-05|accessdate=2008-08-06]


Tonga was sometimes called "little Willie" alongside Willie Mason ("big Willie - willie is a slang term for penis) when both were playing for the Bulldogs by Channel Nine commentator Ray Warren.


External links

* [http://www.stateoforigin.com.au/SOOgame/PlayerDetails.aspx?Pid=408 State of Origin Official website Rugby League Player Stats]

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