THERE was something of a scrum at a New Forest pub as staff tackled one of their biggest-ever orders when a World Cup rugby team dropped in for a bite to eat.

Players and coaches from the Tongan national team put away a huge spread of 30 chickens, 60lb of roast lamb and 60lb of roast beef as well as masses of pasta, potatoes and salad and 30 litres of orange juice when they stopped by the Fusion Inn in Lymington.

Two extra chefs and three more waiting staff were brought in to prepare the massive feast for the 30 hungry squad members who arrived with more than 15 of their staff.

Hailing from the aptly-named Friendly Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean, the entire team took time, in between mouthfuls, to sign rugby balls and shirts and have their picture taken with the regulars.

Pub manager Shannon Van Dreven said: "I've never met such nice guys. They were more than happy to be snapped with rugby fans and chat to the locals about the World Cup.

"Because they're in England's group for the tournament there was a lot of banter between everyone, especially as they are playing England in France in a couple of weeks.

"Thank God we were given some warning they were coming because we've never seen anything like this before."

He added: "They completely cleared their plates, leaving absolutely nothing.

"I mean they're big guys but they put away absolutely everything we had given them.

"You could barely move inside the pub because of the team, food, and all the rugby fans trying to get in."

The team were invited to dine at the pub by the owner, former Tongan rugby skipper Isi Tuivai, who married New Milton model and television presenter Maria Rice-Mundy Isi has been looking after the team while they were training at Bournemouth, en route to the tournament in France.

England will face Tonga in Paris on September 28.