VIDEO: Rugby World Cup hopefuls Tonga train at Cranleigh School

The Tongan international rugby team have been warming up for the World Rugby Cup with a two-week training camp at Cranleigh School.

They have been living and training at the grounds of the school on the Surrey boarder as they step up their preparation for the tournament next month.

Within that time the Pacific stars have engaged with the school pupils and village community as well as putting the Cranleigh first XV through their paces on the field.

The Ikale Tahi - which translates as Sea Eagle - have been getting involved in the local community by holding mini rugby sessions with local schools and clubs as well as attending the local church.

Tonga head coach Mana Otai said: “It’s been great, we have really liked it in that we are isolated enough, but can still get out of the gate and walk down to Cranleigh village.

“It’s been great and the facilities are awesome they have many choices in respects to rugby fields and things like that.

Tongan national Rugby World Cup team training at Cranleigh School. Pic Steve Robards SR1520892 SUS-150827-121209001

Tongan national Rugby World Cup team training at Cranleigh School. Pic Steve Robards SR1520892 SUS-150827-121209001

“We have been to a couple of church services here, so it has been really good. People sort of know that we are around here at Cranleigh School. We couldn’t ask for a better set up for us.”

The former club captain added: “Cranleigh School has a high profile and prestige, yet it has shown us how grounding rugby can be. We feel blessed to have been able to experience this, we could not have asked for better.

“The hospitality of Cranleigh School has exceeded our expectations. It feels like we are home. This has been helped by the staff, who have been excellent and have added to that home-away-from-home feeling.”

The national side held an opening training session and press briefing at the school yesterday ahead of heading up leaving today and heading abroad before returning for the tournament next month.

Tongan national Rugby World Cup team training at Cranleigh School. Pic Steve Robards SR1520872 SUS-150827-121137001

Tongan national Rugby World Cup team training at Cranleigh School. Pic Steve Robards SR1520872 SUS-150827-121137001

The World Cup gets underway on September 18, with Tonga’s first game the following day when they take on Georgia in Gloucester.

Tongan national Rugby World Cup team training at Cranleigh School. Pic Steve Robards SR1520899 SUS-150827-121234001

Tongan national Rugby World Cup team training at Cranleigh School. Pic Steve Robards SR1520899 SUS-150827-121234001