Tonga v Australia: Fans gather to welcome Mate Ma'a for Kangaroos Test
What a reception!
Mate Ma'a Tonga captured the imagination of the rugby league community during their run at last year's World Cup.
Spurred on by the inclusions of the likes of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita, the Pacific nation fell just short of meeting Australia in the final, but gained plenty of fans during the campaign.
Ahead of their historic clash with Australia in Auckland on October 20, the Tongan team touched down in New Zealand to an incredible show of support from their fans.
Thousands turned out to a special reception, held away from the airport to prevent a repeat of the chaos of the World Cup.
We also recommend checking out Jason Taumalolo's most recent Instagram story for a pretty epic performance by some young fans. Andrew Fifita also shared a video from the event on his Instagram.
Tongan coach Kristian Woolf has selected a 19-man squad for the country's first-ever meeting with World Cup winners Australia.
A host of NRL stars will turn out for Tonga, while the side will be captained by Hull FC's Sika Manu.
Full Tonga squad
Andrew Fifita – Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Addin Fonua-Blake – Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
David Fusitu'a – Warriors
Siliva Havilli – Canberra Raiders
Ata Hingano – Canberra Raiders
Will Hopoate – Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Konileti Hurrell – Gold Coast Titans
Michael Jennings – Parramatta Eels
Solomone Kata – Warriors
Sione Katoa – Penrith Panthers
Tuimoala Lolohea – Wests Tigers
Sika Manu – Hull FC
Ben Murdoch-Masilla – Warrington Wolves
Joe Ofahengaue – Brisbane Broncos
Tevita Pangai Junior – Brisbane Broncos
Jason Taumalolo – North Qld Cowboys
Sio Siua Taukeiaho – Sydney Roosters
Peni Terepo – Parramatta Eels
Daniel Tupou – Sydney Roosters