The Pacific Island nations of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Papua New Guinea are well known for their love of rugby league; the sport runs through their peoples' blood and those that represent them on the field have a passion for the game and a dedication to their country rarely seen in the sporting world as a whole. The excitement that these four nations have generated at the current World Cup suggests that there is a space in the game for a Pacific Islands' competition.

Class on the field

Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Papua New Guinea have been a breath of fresh air at this year's World Cup.

Whereas in the past these four nations have somewhat been lacking in class, the current World Cup has demonstrated that not only can these teams steamroll their opposition and leave them battered and bruised, but that they also have the talent and skill to play majestic rugby league and simultaneously wow audiences worldwide.

When Tonga played Samoa last weekend in a brutal clash, rugby league followers could not help but admire the ferocity, but also the pace of the game and the talent on show from the likes of Tonga's Jason Taumalolo and Samoa's Ben Roberts.

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has also stepped up a gear in recent years. From failing to win a game in either the 2008 or 2013 World Cup, the Kumuls have won their opening two matches in spectacular fashion.

An inexperienced Welsh side was on the receiving end of a 50-6 hammering, whilst Ireland bravely went down 14-6 in a tight game that, just a few years ago, the Kumuls would have lost.

PNG has been criticised in the past for being "all brawn and no brain" with a lack of creativity and structure, but they now have this in abundance with the likes of Watson Boas and David Mead thrilling crowds with their skill.

And, when placed alongside hard-hitters such as Garry Lo and Stanton Albert who have the ability to rouse spectators with bursts of speed and power that a rhino would be proud of, the PNG team now have the right balance to cause teams a lot of damage.

In the opening two rounds of the World Cup, Fiji has battered the USA and Wales, PNG and Tonga have demolished Wales and Scotland whilst edging out Ireland and Samoa respectively, whilst Samoa has been beaten by Tonga and New Zealand.

Therefore, with Tonga having already qualified, Samoa likely to go through, and Fiji and PNG likely to top their respective groups, the quality is certainly there that could make a potential Four Nations successful. And, a tournament which would display the same toughness and passion as on show in Tonga's narrow 32-18 victory over Samoa is exciting just to think about.

Leave nothing on the field

A Four Nations of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and PNG would rouse spectators on the terraces and at home; the way in which players from all four countries truly give their all is a purely brilliant sight to see. How they conduct themselves for 80 minutes sets an awesome example for youngsters trying to make their way in the game with unbridled determination, courage, but also respect demonstrated by every player in every game.

The passion that each representative exudes has won the hearts of rugby league followers, particularly in Britain. For example, Kevin Naiqama's tears as the Fijian national anthem was being played in their game against Wales, struck a chord amongst spectators in this country. That emotion is what England fans want to see from those donning the England jersey.

There is no doubt that a Pacific Islands Four Nations would be welcomed on these shores; just to see these nations' players brimming with pride and playing their hearts out for the country that they love would draw in supporters from far and wide that are perhaps disillusioned with the current England setup.


Before they even start playing, however, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and PNG have already got viewers on the edge of their seats. Who doesn't want to see more of the culture that each nation has proudly exhibited in this year's World Cup so far? The pre-game dance and chanting of native Papua New Guineans, the pre-game emotional hymn of Fiji, and the pre-game war dances of Samoa's Siva Tau and Tonga's Sipi Tau - the latter two demonstrated in an incredible 'dance-off' in their fixture last weekend - give goosebumps to anyone lucky enough to be watching. At the moment, the world is losing all its traditions and history, these four nations are immensely proud of theirs and are determined to honour what has been passed down through hundreds of generations.

In an age where division and violence is threatening to tip humanity over the edge, how good would it be see the representatives of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and PNG come together once more in brotherhood in a competition that can firmly showcase - to the world - the love that these players have for the traditions and history of their respective countries?

Furthermore, it is quite moving to see representatives from these four nations kneel down in prayer with the opponents that they have just battered for 80 minutes.

Commitment and respect such as this are needed to highlight the positives of rugby league; what better way to do so than to create a Four Nations where these facets would be the competition's main features?

A bright light in an uncertain future

Rugby League has a lot of problems at the minute: in Britain, the RFL are under heavy criticism for their continued tampering with the sport's structure and from the revelation that Chief Executive, Nigel Wood, has been paying himself £314,000 per year - more than what the majority of Championship teams and all of those teams in League One receive. The current performances of the England team have also raised question marks over the future of England and the home nations' concept.

The sport itself has also seen something of a drugs problem emerge. New Zealand, for example, came into the World Cup with a number of high-profile players removed from the squad due to drug-related incidents. Meanwhile, the NRL's new deal with its players' union - which will see a new pay deal worth £566 million - has threatened to widen the gulf between the NRL and Super League. In a time of uncertainty and controversy, a Pacific Islands Four Nations - just like the World Cup has done momentarily - could well be the catalyst to reignite the love for the game.