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Tonga is the smallest of the Pacific Island nations with a population of just over 100,000. They will be the smallest nation at the World Cup. However, what they lack for in numbers they make up for in size. The Tongans pack a punch! One example is tighthead prop, Ben Tameifuna, who will be one of the heaviest players at the World Cup with a weight of 146kg. Other sizeable forwards include the Fifita brothers who are two dynamic yet powerful loose forwards.
Tonga have always been considered the little brother of Fiji and Samoa, however they have received some serious reinforcements thanks to World Rugby's international eligibility law change which took place in November 2021. A player can now switch nation if they stop playing for the nation they're capped by for three years. This has allowed Tonga to tap up some of the most exciting players in rugby. Tonga have added Israel Folau, Charles Piutau, Malakai Fekita and Pita Ahki to their backline. They've bolstered their pack with the athleticism of Australian lock, Adam Coleman. These additions will provide Tong with additional fire power.
The arrival of these players is already paying off. Tonga have narrowed the gap with their closet rivals and succumbed to tight defeats against Samoa and Japan over this summer. These talismanic players mean Tonga shouldn't be written off in their pool games against South Africa, Ireland and Scotland as well as Romania. If the Tongan giants can gel quickly, there is the potential for an upset against one of those top sides.
World Cup Titles
Best RWC Finish
World Rugby Ranking
(as of 27th August)
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