Fiji are currently making their way to Bordeaux for the first of their World Cup group matches on Sunday.
They will take their mark against Wales in a vital match-up that will allow one side to take their place ahead of the pack, whilst leaving the losing team chasing three must-win games.
Should Fiji lose to Wales on Sunday, then their World Cup could be determined less than a week later in their crunch match against Australia in Saint-Etienne.
This would be a disastrous consequence for a Fiji team quickly building upon an already loyal and enthusiastic fan base.
🏆 THE MOST RUGBY MAD NATIONS 🏆
Over 10% of people in Fiji play rugby according to data from the World Rugby annual report.
Samoa and Tonga are also up there in 2nd and 4th.
England have very high participation figures compared to other Six Nations rivals. pic.twitter.com/98Lq7gqIuU
— RugbyInsideLine (@RugbyInsideLine) September 5, 2023
Fiji’s connection to rugby is more than a sport. The Fijian style of play, marked by breathtaking runs, creative offloads, and dazzling tries, is a testament to their love for the sport and their unique approach to it.
They have a rich history in the world of international rugby, from their incredible dominance in the 7s circuit to their wonderful creativity in the 15s game.
“It is a nation that will stand still, especially when it’s a Rugby World Cup,” said Fiji prop Mesake Doge talking about the support the national side are receiving.
“I would imagine in the villages they will be taking their television sets up onto the hills to get reception to watch the game.
“Pretty much some people won’t go to work and will just be watching the boys perform.
“For us as Fijians, rugby is such a big occasion. They say rugby can make the nation stand still, so people are looking forward to it.”
A wonderful video has recently been circulated online showing the Fiji team singing on their way to Bordeaux.
I can never watch enough videos of Fiji singing.pic.twitter.com/01hHTzEcrC
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) September 8, 2023
With each match, Fiji paint a vibrant picture of resilience and excellence. As they step onto the World Cup stage, they carry the hopes and dreams of a nation that lives, breathes, and dreams, rugby.