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Wasps make grand gesture in support of Fekitoa's Tongan disaster fund

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Wasps are rowing in behind a fundraising campaign for the victims of tsunami-hit Tonga. On Saturday, January 15, an underwater volcano eruption 40 miles north of the capital Nuku’alofa triggered tsunami waves to smash the Pacific Island nation, which has since been buried in volcanic ash.

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Because communications have been severely disrupted, it has been difficult to determine the extent of the devastation. However, pleas for immediate assistance have been made, with food and clean drinking water at the top of the priority list.

Centre Malakai Fekitoa has launched the fundraiser and in support of his efforts, Wasps have vowed to to donate 20 per cent of all match ticket revenue from their upcoming Gallagher Premiership match vs Saracens on Sunday 30 January to the cause.

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Fekitoa, who was born in Ha’api, is one of Tonga’s most famous sons, having grown up as a rugby player before making the life-changing transfer to New Zealand. He went on to play 24 times for the All Blacks and was a member of the squad that won the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The 29-year-old, who has been unable to reach his mother in Tonga, has jumped into action, beginning a fundraising campaign to acquire ‘necessary supplies’ for families affected by the tsunami.

Fekitoa recently shared his experiences growing up in Tonga and gave an update on his efforts to make contact with his family since the disaster.

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Stephen Vaughan, Wasps Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “We were deeply saddened to hear the news of the tsunami in the Pacific Island nation earlier this month, a tragedy that has even greater impact given that Malakai, a key member of the team and firm fan favourite, has been directly affected by this.

“As we await more news, the Club has decided to support Malakai’s fundraising efforts by donating 20% of all match ticket revenue from our Saracens match on Sunday 30 January to the GoFundMe page which has been set up by Malakai to help get aid to where it is needed most.”

“Show your support and join us at Coventry Building Society Arena on Sunday 30 January. Click here to get your tickets: bit.ly/WaspsvsSaracens

“Can’t make the game but still want to support Fekitoa’s fundraiser? More than 1,000 donations have already been made including from current and former Wasps players.”

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You can donate today here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/all-with-tonga-help-tonga?qid=bb089c79d76bc37f1ba2c9f9414d1721

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