Rugby World Cup: England v Fiji. The day Fiji won playing barefoot

Fiji's Metuisela Talebula during the World Cup warm up match against Canada at the Stoop
Fiji's Metuisela Talebula during the World Cup warm up match against Canada at the Stoop

England open the 2015 Rugby World Cup next Friday with a match against the exciting and unpredictable Fiji.

Here are 10 things you may not know about Fiji ... or may be you do, including an international debut wearing no boots and the time they won at Newcastle dog track.

England have met Fiji only once in Rugby World Cup, beating them 45-24 in a pre quarter-final play-off at Twickenham in 1999, Jonny Wilkinson scoring 23 points.

They may have long names rather than household names, but they are not without quality, Vereniki Goneva, was the Premiership’s top try-scorer two seasons ago with Leicester Tigers.

Fiji have only beaten one of the ‘big boys’ in the RWC, putting out Wales thanks to a 38-34 win in 2007

Fiji perform their own ‘war dance’ before internationals. The cibi has been used since 1939, though its origins date back to the country’s warring times with Pacific neighbours.

Manasa Qoro made history by being the first forward to drop a goal at RWC, the prop’s breathtaking 40-metre kick helped Fiji to victory over Italy at the 1987 tournament.

Fiji won their first international in 1924, winning 6-0 in Western Samoa despite playing barefoot and with a large tree on the halfway line.

Only two of their RWC squad are based in Fiji, with the majority of their 31-man party based in France

Fiji are the reigning Pacific Nations Champions, a competition featuring Canada, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and the USA.

One of Fiji’s breakthrough results came in the North-East where they hammered a powerful Barbarians, featuring Gareth Edwards and Phil Bennett, 29-6 at Gosforth Greyhound Stadium in 1970.

Fiji are ranked no9 in the world, higher than two RBS 6 Nations sides, Scotland (10) and Italy (14)