18 Jul 2015

Sport: 'Chaos' predicted for Pacific Nations Cup rugby opener

10:44 am on 18 July 2015

Tonga are anticipating a bruising encounter in this afternoon's Pacific Nations Cup opener against Fiji in Suva.

Tonga rugby

Tonga rugby Photo: Supplied

The 'Ikale Tahi were thrashed 45-17 when the teams last clashed 13 months ago but just one place separates the traditional rivals on the world rankings.

Both countries open their Rugby World Cup campaigns in less than two months and Tonga's High Performance Manager, Peter Harding says this is the perfect game to start what will be a massive year.

"When Island teams play each other there's a little bit of chaos thrown into the mix, just because of the intensity of the rivalry. You don't get that intensity in a lot of other games, I don't believe. It might just be a little chaotic for a while, before the teams settle down, but it will definitely be very hard, strong footy and extremely competitive."

The Pacific Nations Cup continues tomorrow with Manu Samoa taking on the USA and Canada up against Japan in San Jose, California.