8:40 am on 9 September 2011

Fiji have played in all but one Rugby World Cup, failing to secure qualification behind Samoa for the 95 tournament.

They have reached the quarter-final stage twice, in 1987 and 2007.

Four years ago they beat Wales to claim a place in the knock-out stage, pushing eventual winners South Africa for much of the match before going down 37-20.

With many Fijian residents in New Zealand, expect a large and vibrant group of their supporters cheering on their team through the tournament particularly when they do the Cibi (war dance) before each match.

While Fiji rugby has had most of their success at sevens, they have put a lot of resources into improving their 15-man game and have 80,000 registered players in 30 provincial unions

However, one of their problems has been getting their players together to represent their country. Prop Deacon Manu captains a side that has 21 overseas-based players who ply their trade in Australia, Japan, France, England, Scotland and New Zealand.

First five Nicky Little, 34, has played in every World Cup since 1999 and is Fiji's second highest points scorer.

Fiji finished third in the recent Pacific Nations Cup and open their campaign against Namibia in Rotorua on 10 September, before tackling defending champions South Africa, Samoa and Wales in their remaining Pool D encounters.