Pacific Islanders excelled at the Rugby World Cup. Aside from the traditional homelands of Sāmoa, Tonga, and Fiji, other rugby powerhouses have raised many Pacific Islanders in their diasporas. Although Pacific Islanders represent a small percentage of New Zealand and Australia's populations, they number prominently in their national teams.
Pacific Islanders' exceptional skills in rugby has provided opportunities for them to be recruited in both international clubs and even the national teams of their adopted states, such as France, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
In this World Cup, there were Pasifika players represented in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France, Italy, and Japan. Many of them were born and raised in New Zealand and Australia and have adopted not just the national language, but cultures of their adopted countries.
Stars such as Manu Tuilagi, Bundee Aki, Monty Ioane, and Uini Atonio featured prominently in non-traditional Pacific teams. They represent a growing diaspora of Pasifika rugby players who are transforming the landscape of international rugby and its development.
ARDIE SAVEAArdie Savea
Named the Rugby World Cup 2023 Player of the Year, Savea is an accomplished All Black, one of the best in the world
MARK TELEʻAMark Teleʻa
Winner of the Rugby World Cup Breakthrough Player of the Year, Teleʻa was an exceptional player
LIMA SOPOʻAGALima Sopoʻaga
A former All Black turned Manu Sāmoa, Sopoʻaga is among the best and helped Sāmoa significantly
PASIFIKA WORLD PLAYERS
Not all Pacific Islanders are represented in their traditional teams. Across England, France, and Japan are those who have committed to new countries, while retraining their heritage at heart
MONTY IOANEMonty Ioane
A newphew of Digby Ioane and Italy's star Pacific player, Monty Ioane featured prominently in the Italian campaign
The only Tuilagi brother to not play for Sāmoa, Manu featured prominently in his adopted country into the knockout phase
BUNDEE AKIBundee Aki
Leading Ireland into