Warriors and Storm 'Unite for Tonga' in pre-season game

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

With the NRL pre-season just weeks away from kicking off and rivalries renewing, two clubs are coming together for a common cause.

The Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors will dedicate their February 19 trial match, being held at Casey Fields in Melbourne, to the nation of Tonga to help raise funds for the island nation, which was hit by tsunamis and volcanic ash from volcano eruption at the weekend.

As reported by melbournestorm.com.au, the 'Unite for Tonga' match will have a range of initiatives to be announced in the weeks leading up to allow people to donate to the cause.

When tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster at noon this Friday, January 21, members and fans can make a direct donation via the buying- process.

“Tongans have a proud history in rugby league and with Storm,” Storm chief executive Justin Rodski says. 

"The full details of the destruction and impact of the eruption on the people of Tonga is still unfolding but we want to make sure we have done our bit to support the island community as it looks to rebuild.

Dig deep to help

“We hope the Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors fans can dig deep to support the initiatives and that life in Tonga can return to normal as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, the Warriors have begun working on a relief package for Tonga on Sunday, January 16, according to warriors.kiwi.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George said the club is doing all it can to help.

“Our hearts go out to Tonga and especially to the families and communities suffering at this difficult time.

“Tonga and its people have always held a very special place for us and always will.

“A number of players in our current squad have immediate family or wider family in Tonga. They’re feeling for them right now and so is everyone associated with the club."