Sidmouth prepares to cheer on Tonga

PUBLISHED: 12:05 25 September 2015

Red and white Tongan flags are flying in Sidmouth

Red and white Tongan flags are flying in Sidmouth


Red and white Tongan flags are flying over Sidmouth as the town gears up to cheer on its adopted team in the Rugby World Cup.

Businesses agreed to support the south Pacific nation back in June because of a historic link between the town and the small state, which is made up of around 170 islands.

The Tongans lost their opening fixture against Georgia 17 – 10 on Saturday (September 19).

Their next match, which will take place at Exeter’s Sandy Park, is against Namibia on Tuesday, September 29, at 4.45pm.

Their following fixture is against Argentina on Sunday, October 4. Kick off is at 2.30pm.

Their final group stage game is against New Zealand, who are favourites to win the competition, on Friday, October 9. Kick off is at 8pm.

The link between Sidmouth and Tonga dates back to 1911, when Sidmothain James Lockyer travelled to Tonga to record a solar eclipse.

On the trip was Frank McClean, who would become a main funder for the Norman Lockyer Observatory, which opened a year later.

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