Former North Queensland Toyota Cowboys centre Brent Tate has named Willie Tonga as the best centre he ever played against.
Recently speaking on the Cowboys Then and Now podcast, Tate said the former Cowboys, Eels and Bulldogs outside back was a nightmare to come up against.
“When he was fit and firing at the Bulldogs and when he came here to this club, Tonga was something else,” Tate said.
“I remember one day when I was at the Broncos and he was playing for the Bulldogs, I could not get a hand on him.
“At his best, he was as good as any centre you could ever come up against. Big, strong, late feet and quick. He was a nightmare to handle.”
When asked which current player in the NRL he can’t wait to sit down and watch every weekend, the 2006 Premiership winner couldn’t look past Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.
“When he plays, I’m waiting to stand up because I’m just waiting for him to do something,” he said.
“I think he is the most freakish talent and as most people would have seen in the trial against the Broncos, he scored a try off a chip and chase which is just effortless.
“If that was me, I would have kicked it dead or fumbled it, but for him it’s like backyard footy. I felt like that playing outside of [Matt Bowen].
“I’m really chuffed that we have a player of his ability and calibre at this club.”