Except for the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Fiji rugby union team has competed in every Rugby World Cup event. Their greatest performance were in the inaugural 1987 event and the 2007 edition, where they reached the quarterfinals.
- 24 May, 1987 v Argentina at Rugby Park, Hamilton (Debut)
- Played 32 – Won 11 Drawn 0 Lost 21 – Points for 732 Points against 971 – Win ratio 34 percent (RWC Appearances)
- Nicky Little, 14 (Most RWC Appearances)
- Best finish: Quarter-finals (1987, 2007)
- Qualification for RWC 2023: Third place in Pool D at RWC 2019
Fiji’s best time in a Rugby World Cup was in Nantes, France, where they defeated Wales 38-34. Graham Dewes, a prop, burrowed over for his first and only test try to advance Fiji to the quarterfinals. Martyn Williams’ 73rd-minute score seem to won for Wales, but salvation came in the unlikely shape of Graham Dewes.
Most Memorable Moment
The fact that Fiji almost didn’t make it to New Zealand in 1987 added poignancy to their first-ever Rugby World Cup victory. Their participation in the tournament was in doubt due to a military coup on the night of it, thus, Western Samoa was prepared to step in. With such a disorganized lead-up, Fiji’s 28-9 triumph over Hugo Porta’s Argentina was the perfect way to get things going.
Losing 30-27 to Uruguay, a team ranked nine places lower than them in the Rugby World Cup Men’s Rankings. Four years after beating the same opponents, Wales lost to them by 66-0 at the RWC in 2011.
At the RWC 2003, Caucaunibuca Rupeni made a dramatic comeback from a two-game suspension in France style by scoring a first-half brace against Scotland. The enigmatic Scottish winger bulldozed his way down the left touchline for his first goal before adding a second after a 70-meter run that left Scottish defenders clinging to thin air and trailing in his wake.
This was a sheer demonstration of his strength and quickness. Match commentator: “Give it to Caucau, and he is go-go, gone!” Unfortunately, Fiji came up just short as Tom Smith’s try decided the match in favor of Scotland by 22–20.
Top Record Breaker
Vereniki Goneva touched down for his fifth tournament try in the RWC 2015 loss to Wales, becoming Fiji’s all-time leading try scorer at Rugby World Cups. His previous four occurred in a single game—a RWC 2011 contest versus Namibia. Goneva is his nation’s best ‘finisher’ in Rugby World Cups despite being unable to add to his total in two appearances in Japan.
Fiji Tentative Squad
Head coach Simon Raiwalui named his first wider training squad in June. There are 10 uncapped players named amongst the experienced overseas-based Flying Fijians.
Peni Ravai, Haereti Hetet, Eroni Mawi, Meli Tuni, Samuela Matavesi, Tevita Ikanivere, Zuriel Togiatama, Mesulame Dolokoto, Mesake Doge, Luke Tagi, Samu Tawake, Jone Koroiduadua, Isoa Nasilasila, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Temo Mayanavanua, Albert Tuisue, Peceli Yato, Lekima Tagitagivalu, Joseva Tamani, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Levani Botia, Viliame Mata, Meli Derenalagi, Vilive Miramira, Kitione Kamikamica
Frank Lomani, Simione Kuruvoli, Peni Matawalu, Teti Tela, Caleb Muntz, Ben Volavola, Josua Tuisova, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Adrea Cocagi, Waisea Nayacalevu, Iosefo Masi, Seta Tamanivalu, Vinaya Habosi, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Selestino Ravutaumada, Ilaisa Drosese, Setareki Tuicuvu, Semi Radradra, Sireli Maqala, Vilimoni Botitu
Related: Fiji Schedule