Taniela Moa: Tributes pour in for ex-Tonga rugby union international following his death aged 36 | Rugby Union News

Tonga Rugby Union announced that former international Taniela Moa has died at the age of 36; The Tonga rugby team and former Moa clubs pay homage; Moa made 21 appearances for Tonga and played all four of his national team’s games at the 2011 World Cup

Last updated: 16/12/21 7:05

Taniela Moa made 21 international caps for Tonga

Former Tonga midfielder Taniela Moa has died at the age of 36, the country’s rugby governing body announced.

The Tonga Rugby Union said in a statement that Moa was one of the greatest of all time. He did not mention the cause of death.

“A loyal rugby player Ikale Tahi Tonga who will now have his name engraved in the ranks of legendary greats. What sad news to receive about Taniela Moa’s disappearance,” he said.

“We would like to send our affection and heartfelt condolences to his family at this sad and tragic time. May he fly high among God’s army and watch over you all.”

The Samoa rugby team also paid tribute to Moa following news of his death.

“We are shocked to learn of the sudden disappearance of our Uso, Taniela Moa. Such a great loss that it went away too soon,” they said in a statement.

Moa was called to the All Blacks squad in 2008 as a replacement through injury but did not take the field, meaning he remained eligible for Tonga.

He went on to make 21 appearances for Tonga after making his debut in 2011 and played in all four Rugby World Cup matches that year, including the opening match against the All Blacks and the 19-14 at surprise of France, second classified.

Moa last appeared for Tonga in the 2015 Pacific Cup of Nations, when he suffered a 30-22 loss to Fiji.

He has also previously played for New Zealand provincial teams Auckland and Bay of Plenty, and has also represented the Blues and Chiefs in Super Rugby.


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