June International Tours

Rodzilla takes up Tongan citizenship



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Rodney “Rodzilla” Blake, (25) a former Wallaby and Queensland Reds loosehead prop, reclaimed his Tongan citizenship in Nuku’alofa this week.

In a short ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office, the Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele signed Rodney’s Certificate of Re-Admission to Tongan Nationality and then witnessed Rodney taking the Oath of Allegiance.

Dr Sevele congratulated Rodney for his achievements, “All Tongans are very proud of you for what you have achieved on the rugby field with the Queensland Reds and the Wallabies.

“We wish you well in France and we look forward to your more frequent visits to your home country in the future,” he told MatangiTongaOnline.

Blake was injured in 2007 but resumed playing for the Queensland Reds again in the 2008 season and has recently signed a new contract with the French club Bayonne where he is due to arrive on the 5th of July.

Rodney was born in Tofoa, on the outskirts of Nuku’alofa. He migrated with his parents, Uini and Pouvalu Blake, to Australia in the early 1990s, and later became a naturalised Australian.

He had applied to Tonga’s Minister responsible for Immigration for a certificate of re-admission to Tongan nationality under the Nationality (Amendment) Act 2007, which became law last August.

Prior to the amendment coming into force, a Tongan subject who voluntarily became a naturalized citizen of another country was deemed to have ceased to be a Tongan citizen.

Rodney said it was a happy day. “My parents and family are also very happy because it has been one of their wishes that I resume my Tongan citizenship. I suppose the next step is for me to prove to the national selectors that I am good enough to play for the ‘Ikale Tahi national rugby team in the near future.”

Rodney (Rodzilla) Christopher Lamangino Blake secured a Super 14 contract with the Reds in 2006.

As a loosehead prop, he has played 38 games over three seasons with the Reds in the Super 14 competition and seven tests for the Australian national rugby team, the Wallabies.



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