The Tongan Rugby Union have announced a new chief executive as part of the union’s plans to improve governance and administrative leadership in the coming years.

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TRU president Siaosi Pohiva last week confirmed the appointment of Peter Harding, who takes over from vice president Fe’ao Vunipola.

Confirmation of Harding – who has previously held the roles of Tongan general manager and high performance manager between 2012 and 2016 – as the new chief executive comes four months after a tripartite agreement was signed between the TRU, World Rugby and the Tongan government.

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According to RNZ, the agreement – which was signed off by Pohiva on behalf of the TRU, Tongan government representative Poasi Tei and World Rugby’s David Carrigy – was put in place to help build a sustainable future off the field for Tongan rugby.

“We agreed this agreement outlines the objectives, high level requirements and performances measures for the Tonga high performance programme and the responsibilities for all parties during the 2020-2024 period,” Pohiva said, as per RNZ.

RNZ also reports there was a belief upon the signing of the agreement that World Rugby would provide “strategic input, administration leadership and governance” once a new chief executive had been found.

In doing so, it is hoped that Tonga’s potential within international rugby will be maximised within the coming years.

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In addition to working for the TRU in the past, Harding has also been strength and conditioning coach for Clermont, Toyota Verblitz and the Wallabies, a director of physical performances at London Irish, and, most recently, a high performance consultant for World Rugby.

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