If anyone is going to cause tears and sadness for the opposition it will be one of the Islander teams. For those who just love rugby and see players play with heart and amazing skill, it will be a joyous spectacle.
Tonga has the most unfortunate draw of the three. Although their side has been bolstered by a number of ex-Wallabies and ex-All Blacks, they will be hard-pressed to keep the trio of South Africa, Ireland, and Scotland from being the main contenders to advance in pool B. They are likely going to have some close games but these 3 are just a little superior still. When the 2027 tournament rolls around and Tonga still has the same core of players, we will have some fireworks on our hands.
Samoa has the second-worst draw but they are in contention to get out of the pool with the only in-form side in their pool, Argentina. England has been well below par over the past two years. Japan have pulled off some shock victories and they are the other contender to steal that 2nd position in the pool. No one knows if England will pitch up in any form that is remotely respectable at this World Cup and I won’t be holding my breath.
Fiji holds its destiny in its own hands. They can write some history for the islands, not just by making it out of the group stages but potentially making it to the semi-finals. The two supposed top teams in their group, Wales and Australia, have not instilled any confidence in they have played in recent times. Australia should make it out of the group but Wales are looking doubtful.
If Fiji make it out of the pool it is likely going to be in the 2nd position and then they will face Argentina… and anything can happen on the day.