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Wallabies legends to suit up for Tonga tsunami charity match

By AAP
Toutai Kefu. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

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Toutai Kefu will coach a star-studded Tongan invitational side against a vintage Queensland Reds outfit to raise funds for the battered South Pacific Island nation’s recovery effort.

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Tonga coach Kefu is himself recovering, after a terrifying home invasion last August resulted in the former Wallabies great in hospital and his wife, son and daughter all injured.

But he’ll be back with the clipboard in hand for a 40-minute curtain-raiser to the Reds’ Super Rugby Pacific home opener on February 19 at Suncorp Stadium.

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James Horwill, Scott Higginbotham and David Croft will lace up the boots for the Vintage Reds, while George Smith, Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri will feature for the Tongan side.

Public donations will be directed towards supporting the Tonga recovery effort after the eruption of the Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha’apai underwater volcano and subsequent tsunami in January.

The disaster was felt heavily at Ballymore and Australian rugby in general, given many players’ strong family ties to Tonga.

“It means a great deal to me, my family and my community to get the opportunity to raise some funds for our people,” Kefu said.

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“Our country has been devastated by this disaster, so every cent we can raise counts.

“We’ve got some great players strapping on the boots for both teams and it’s going to be a great spectacle with some great rugby played.”

Donations will be sent to a direct impact, on-ground organisation assisting the recovery of Tongan homes and lives.

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