Frank Endacott named new Tonga coach

Frank Endacott has been named as the new head coach of Tonga.

The former Wigan and Widnes head coach will be in charge of the Mate Ma’a when they take on Great Britain later this year.

Endacott coached the Warriors between 1999-2001, followed by two years at the Vikings upon his arrival in 2004.

The former New Zealand coach replaces St Helens-bound coach Kristian Woolf and will be joined on the coaching staff by Super League and Bradford icon Lesley Vainikolo, along with Manu Vatuvei and Duanne Mann.

“It’s always a challenge to take on the top teams, and both Australia and Great Britain have been in the top echelon for years,” Endacott said.

“The Mate Ma’a Tonga players are world class and we see how good they are week in and week out in both the NRL and Super League. To have a chance to work with those players will be outstanding.”

The appointment comes despite a current stand-off with players, who have threatened to boycott the nation’s Tests unless TNRL chairman George Koloamatangi and secretary William Edwards are removed from the board.