5 Oct 2007

Fiji are playing for fans back home

11:03 am on 5 October 2007

Fiji are on a mission at the Rugby World Cup but it has nothing to do with winning the tournament, despite making their first quarter final in twenty years.

They hope to bring peace and prosperity to their homeland which is under military rule and has suffered political unrest and economic problems for two decades.

Rugby has always been a unifying force in Fiji and the team's unexpected progress at this year's tournament, where it will face South Africa this weekend, has provided a rare chance to celebrate.

Fiji coach Ilie Tabua says the players had no grand illusions about their performances providing a lasting solution to the problems back at home but they were hopeful their efforts might make some difference.

He says this is more than just a rugby game: for them it's something for the country.