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Paddy Playing for Tonga?

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stevemagoo

Guest
Courtesy of Munsterfans.com

Hilarious - Can't wait to see the Tonga games to see this!



Epi Taione's adopts sponsor's name

Epi Taione, no stranger to controversy in the past, has caused another big stir on the eve of the Rugby World Cup by changing his name to Paddy Power.





The versatile Tongan, formerly of Newcastle and Sale, has changed his name by deed poll and, much to the chagrin of the International Rugby Board, he will be called Paddy Power throughout the tournament, after signing a sponsorship agreement with the bookmaker bearing the same name.

The Irish firm agreed a five-figure deal to fund hard-up Tonga's preparations for the tournament, which kicks off next week.

The 125kg star who can play either centre, wing or No 8 saw his career in English rugby come to an end in February 2006 when he was banned for 18 weeks after pleading guilty to biting Munster and Ireland No 8 Denis Leamy in Sale's Heineken Cup loss to the Irish province.

On completion of his sentence, Taione resumed his club career with Sanyo in Japan and is now looking forward to playing a pivotal role for Tonga.

The 28-year-old has set his sights on trying to fulfill a lifetime ambition of scoring a try against world champions England.

The Tongan Sea Eagles will play Brian Ashton's side in their final pool game on September 28, and Paddy Power have set odds of 7-1 on their namesake delivering what could prove an awkward moment for commentators unsure whether or not to subscribe to the marketing masterstroke.

Bookmaker Paddy Power admitted it was a dream come true to see his name feature at the Rugby World Cup.

"I was never good enough to play rugby in a World Cup and figured this was as close as I was going to get," he said.

Taione is hoping his name change will bring a change of fortune for his country whose campaign kicks off against the USA in Montpellier on September 12.

"It's a great fun idea, I was happy to help when I was asked. I hope some of the luck of the Irish rubs off on us."

Taione's agent Nick Taylor of Phoenix Management admitted the opportunity to help the Tongans was too good to turn down. "We are really appreciative of Paddy Power's efforts in help to supporting an emerging nation like Tonga," he said.
 
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RC

Guest
He loses all respect and his dignity goes right out the window, but f*** that, he's been given a five figure sum for changing his name for a few months!
Brilliant. :lol:
 
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shazbooger

Guest
He loses all respect and his dignity goes right out the window [/b]
Not at all. He's doing it with a smile on his face and it is the Tongan rugby union that has benefitted not him personally. Nothing but Kudos for this man.
 
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Substitute

Guest
I'll give you odds of 4-1 that some will change their name to William Hill before the world cup starts.
 
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RC

Guest
<div class='quotemain'> He loses all respect and his dignity goes right out the window [/b]
Not at all. He's doing it with a smile on his face and it is the Tongan rugby union that has benefitted not him personally. Nothing but Kudos for this man. [/b][/quote]

Really, you respect the man for this?
Very strange...
 
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Substitute

Guest
Personally I think it's sad that players have to resort to do this to get any kind of tangible funding for their nation. Even more so with it being the IRB's most successful year and many of the big nations aflood with money.

But at the end of the day, as long as it gets the reporters ina squirm, I'm happy. And if he'd have changed his name to John Smith, alright not John Smith but any generic name, I'm imagine the problem would be less. But the fact that he's doing it for the welfare of his country cannot be a bad thing.
 
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Brodizzle

Guest
Personally I think it's sad that players have to resort to do this to get any kind of tangible funding for their nation. Even more so with it being the IRB's most successful year and many of the big nations aflood with money.
[/b]
Exactly right, if anything it shows the lack of funding the IRB gives to your poorer nations....shame on you IRB..

On a side note, I look forward to next world cup seeing a player called Ronald McDonald, and kitted out in the red afro n all...
 
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shazbooger

Guest
Really, you respect the man for this?
Very strange...[/b]
Why the hell not? What could you possibly hold against him for doing this?

He's doing it for the right reason, the right cause, and he's having a laugh at the same time. I dont like the idea of it and it sets a dangerous precident, but that aint his problem, its the IRB's.
 
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Fa'atau82

Guest
Breaking news..

Christophe Dominici has changed his name to Christophe Domino-Pizza.
 
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RC

Guest
<div class='quotemain'> Really, you respect the man for this?
Very strange...[/b]
Why the hell not? What could you possibly hold against him for doing this?

He's doing it for the right reason, the right cause, and he's having a laugh at the same time. I dont like the idea of it and it sets a dangerous precident, but that aint his problem, its the IRB's.

[/b][/quote]

To change an aspect of your identity for money - nothing respectable about that in my eyes.
He can claim he's having a laugh, but i'd be ashamed if one of my boys in the Welsh squad decided to do that. I see him as the laughing stock.
 
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shazbooger

Guest
To change an aspect of your identity for money - nothing respectable about that in my eyes.[/b]
I would agree with you IF he was profiting from it. But the way its been reported he aint. If thats the case he aint doing it for the money.

I do agree with you on principal, but in this case, its a one off gimic, being done for a good cause.
 
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RC

Guest
<div class='quotemain'> To change an aspect of your identity for money - nothing respectable about that in my eyes.[/b]
I would agree with you IF he was profiting from it. But the way its been reported he aint. If thats the case he aint doing it for the money.

I do agree with you on principal, but in this case, its a one off gimic, being done for a good cause.

[/b][/quote]

Is he not profiting from this? Then i've totally misinterpreted this whole situation.
I thought he was receiving a five figure sum.

Apologies if that's not the case, then.
 
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RC

Guest
Seriously? I thought he was doing it for his own benefit.
:lol:
I take back my whole argument then.

Apologies Logorrhea!
 
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Fa'atau82

Guest
Taione pulled this stunt to help the Tonga Rugby Union out. You realise that Tonga are the most talented rugby nation in the world. And this is why.

They have a population of just 100,000. That is like the equivalent of your town playing in the World Cup with town players only. They are no pushovers either.

Look and see who has come out of Tonga into pro rugby and that should tell you all you need to know. They don;t have world class players, but they certainly have solid ones forging careers in Super 14 and top level Europe.

If Tonga was a bigger country.. lets say a million population, and it's politics wasn't a shambles, they could be in the top 8 by now.

A lot of the players in other teams.. mainly the USA probably have Tongan heritage.

Taione was just doing his part. He sold himself out for the sake of his team, who at one stage might have withdrew.
 

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