Fiji’s victory over Australia at the 2023 Rugby World Cup was a boost for smaller rugby nations and a sign of the Pacific islanders’ rapid improvement, but structural issues within the game mean it is likely to be the exception rather than the norm.

Fiji won 22-15 in Saint-Etienne as a team improved by the investment made in developing nations by World Rugby provided the big upset of the World Cup so far.

Fijian Drua’s entry into Super Rugby has been a game changer in providing regular high-level opposition, while a similar investment in South America to boost Chile and Uruguay is starting to bear fruit.