In Review

Rugby World Cup 2015: Pool A profile – free-spirited Fiji

The Pacific Islanders can dazzle, but they are unlucky to be in the 'group of death' with England, Wales and Australia

A rugby-mad nation, Fiji are loved by all for the sublime handling skills that characterise their game. While the Samoans are renowned for tackling like rhinos, Fijian play revolves around free-spirited attack. Be prepared to see a second-row forward streaking down the wing before throwing an implausible one-handed offload to a supporting player for a glorious try out of nothing.

In 2007, Fiji delivered one of the best performances in the history of the Rugby World Cup, defeating Wales 38-34. They built a lead, saw it vanish after a Welsh fightback, then kicked on again. Twenty years earlier, the squad only just made the inaugural World Cup after two political coups. Can they make the knockout stages again? It's highly unlikely given their Pool A opponents, but they should not be underestimated.

Star man: Niki Goneva

In the last two seasons Niki Goneva has scored 19 Premiership for Leicester Tigers and Fiji's vice-captain is one of the most sharpest finishers in European rugby. The 31-year-old can play wing or in the centre and scored four tries for Fiji against Namibia in the 2011 World Cup.

One to watch: Niko Matawalu

Fiji are blessed with a number of 100kg plus speedsters who'll really take some stopping. But the diminutive Niko Matawalu, who plays for Bath at scrum-half, is a player whose dexterity and speed of thought have caught defences napping across Europe for the past three seasons.

Coach: John McKee

John McKee is one of seven Kiwis coaches at RWC 2015. His CV includes stints at Clermont, Connacht and Cornish Pirates. His challenge is to make Fiji one of the top eight nations in world rugby. That might be a struggle at this tournament.

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