Bromwich ready for Kiwis’ island battles

New Zealand international Jesse Bromwich thinks that Samoa and Tonga could provide some really challenging opposition for the Kiwis at the 2017 World Cup.

New Zealand are set to host a significant part of the tournament, and have been drawn in Group B, with Samoa Scotland and Tonga.

The two Pacific Island nations can expect to draw big support in the Shaky Isles, and Bronwich is wary of their quality.

“I definitely think that the smaller nations are getting stronger,” said Bromwich.

“You just look at the games that they played in the middle of the year, Tonga and Samoa are two really strong nations at the moment and you can even throw Fiji and PNG in there as well.

Australia and New Zealand used to be the two main teams but these days anyone can win it.

“It’s going to be good for New Zealand to have Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand and Scotland in the same pool.”

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney, meanwhile, hopes that many of the Pacific Islanders in New Zealand can be persuaded to cheer for the Kiwis.

“In Auckland there is a pretty big Pacific Island community but we’ll have players of both Samoan and Tongan heritage who will be playing for New Zealand so hopefully we can swing a few of the Tongans and Samoans on our side,” he said.

“I reckon it will be pretty even but I’d like to think they will lean our way.

“What that stands for is that it will be a wonderful occasion, our opening game at Mt Smart against Samoa, and it will be no different down in Hamilton [against Tonga].

“I’m sure the Tongan community will get behind their team and support them down in Hamilton too.”

 

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