Woolf wants to continue with Tonga

Kristian Woolf has expressed his wish to continue as coach of Tonga.

The St Helens coach had previously expressed his desire to carry on performing his international duties.

However, the caveat to that was that it would not intrude on his work with Saints, which he insisted was his main priority.

Woolf echoed that sentiment when questioned on the matter, but confirmed that he believes he can do both jobs moving forward.

“I’ve spoken at length with St Helens about that and they’ve been very supportive about me continuing with Tonga,” he said.

“I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t interfere with St Helens first, because that’s my main job, and I don’t think it would.

“I think I can do it. I have a great loyalty and connection with the players of Tonga, so I want to continue.

“We all see the potential there and they showed it against Australia and against Great Britain at the end of last year. If we can get things right at the top, around the board and around leadership, then there’s potential there to win a World Cup and I certainly want to be a part of that.”

Tonga are currently without a board after the IRL suspended the previous governing body in September last year over concerns raised by players, who revolted after they sacked Woolf over finances.

The IRL then commissioned a report on the governance of the Tongan Rugby League and it is hoping to implement its recommendations moving forward.

“The board was suspended at the end of the year, so it means we certainly need to be looking at new leadership there. It needs to be changed completely, we need an overhaul,” said Woolf.

“We have to wait and see to see what they put forward and what’s put in place to make sure this team can reach its potential. If we get it right then they’ll reach that potential.”