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Episode 139 - Willie Tonga

July 4, 2019

 

Please use the player below to listen to the podcast or the links below for your favorite podcast app

 

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In this podcast

3:00 – Welcome Willie Tonga

3:28 – His real name and how he became William

5:13 – His Indigenous and Tongan background

8:10 – Being embraced in Cherbourg, Queensland

9:00 – Eye opener as a youngster growing up

10:16 – His brothers Esi & Sione and how discipline was the game changer

13:20 – State of Origin his first rep jersey

15:41 – His love for Rugby Union

17:00 – Being spotted by Noel Cleal

17:26 – How he learnt his in and away

19:52 – His explosive first 15 metres

21:50 – Why he rejected rugby union for the Parramatta Eels

25:49 – Coming down to Sydney and wanting to repeat year 12 at Terra Sancta

27:58 – His shyness

30:00 – Adjusting to Sydney and nearly going home

31:15 – Being scared of the mind games of Brian Smith

34:01 – Driven by people that you can’t make it

35:29 – First grade debut against the Roosters

40:29 – Moving to Bulldogs without ever winning a game of first grade

42:17 – Steve Folkes

44:12 – Why the Bulldogs culture was so special

48:30 – His combination with Matt Utai

50:17 – Finally winning his first game

52:11 – Getting called up to his first State of Origin

55:13 – Playing with Queensland legends

56:30 – Darren Lockyer

1:01:22 – Mark O’Meley weirdness

1:02:55 – Why he didn’t drink till he was 20

1:05:33 – The pact to not speak about Coffs Harbour

1:07:41 – Feelings towards Johnathan Thurston releasing his book

1:09:34 – His body post retirement and dark days

1:12:45 – The challenge to make a comeback

1:13:50 – Reni Maitua situation and how he handled it after

1:18:27 – The comeback with the Cowboys

1:23:45 – Mal Meninga, the man manager

1:26:25 – Why he should of got dropped from the Queensland Origin team

1:32:30 – Why the fire and love for rugby league has be reignited

1:40:33 – Flashbacks and coaching

1:42:11 – Will Chambers & Latrell Mitchell

 

 

 

WILLIE TONGA

Follow Will on Instagram | Book him at Playbook.coach | 

 

My special guest is Willie Tonga. Willie is a former professional rugby league player who played 212 first grade games across the NRL and Super League, winning an NRL Premiership in 2004 with the Canterbury Bulldogs. His representative career includes 8 State of Origins for Queensland and 12 tests for Australia.

 

 

 

 

Related Episodes - Episode 119: Dean Widders | Episode 127:  George Rose

Episode 129: Craig Wing | Episode 132: Steve Menzies

 

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