Fiji And Tonga To Be Tier 1 Nations?

Both Fiji and Tonga have proved they are more than worthy of the highly regarded "Tier 1 Nation" status. For the second World Cup in a row the Bati have made the Semi-final, and Tonga have reached the semi-final in more than convincing fashion.

2013 saw them exit the tournament on the receiving end of a 64 points to nil thumping by Australia. This result has clearly done them no favours, as England and New Zealand aren't on the receiving end of those score lines when they face Australia. It kind of put them in a pot of Tier 1.5 nations, a side that is much stronger than tier 2 but not quite tier 1 yet.

If Fiji put a strong showing in against Australia, then they could definitely be looked at as a tier 1 nation, this means keeping the game competitive, scoring tries and keeping the end scoreline close, or even winning.

Tonga have a lot more to prove yet, while the Fijians made it out of their group, Tonga failed to. A 24-26 loss to Scotland saw them exit in the group stages and Scotland make the last 8. While there is no doubt they are one of the tournament's team to watch, they will have to prove they can do it all over again in 2021. A win against England though would definitely see them regarded as one of the top 3 teams in the world.

The fact that a Pacific Test series will be brought in, and is proposed to take place during the Origin Series, will do wonders for these nations. This will lead to greater squad depth, better world ranking positions and surely Tier 1 status in the next few years to come.



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