Sidmouth prepares to cheer on Tonga

Red and white Tongan flags are flying in Sidmouth

Red and white Tongan flags are flying in Sidmouth - Credit: Archant

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.

Most Read

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

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter