More than 4000 passionate Tongan supporters gathered at Manukau's Events Centre last night to welcome the Tongan league team.
The special event gave fans the opportunity welcome the Tongan side after they landed in Auckland ahead of next Saturday's test against the Kangaroos at a sold out Mt Smart Stadium.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) head of major events Stuart Turner said the event was a great way for Tongan fans to express their support ahead of the clash.
"It's so nice to see people having fun and enjoying themselves," he said.
"To get these kind of numbers is pretty unique to Auckland ... they are so passionate."
Emotions were high when the team entered the Events Centre with fans cheering their team.
"I just love my country, and that's why I'm here," one supporter said.
"We have to support my country, never mind if we win or lose next week, we still support our country."
"It's been pretty cool to see everybody here in Tongan gear, all I can say is 'go Tonga'!"
"We are very excited to support them and make them feel at home, another fan said, "meeting the team, it was a very special moment for everybody."
Tongan coach Kristian Woolf said it was a very special night to be a part and was feeling confident ahead of the match.
"We're really happy to be back in New Zealand but it will be a real challenge. We're going to have to be at our best but what I am really confident of is that you'll see our team at its best."
"I think a strength for this group is they've been together for a while now, they all know each other's games, and they are really close they are already.
"They are very proud of what they do and who they represent, they'll certainly give it their best shot."
Fans will have another chance to connect with the team next Wednesday at Mt Smart Stadium with the opportunity to watch the players train.
Tonga play the world champion Kangaroos on October 20 at Mt Smart Stadium.