Rugby World Cup: Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui's heartwarming gesture after shock defeat to Portugal goes viral

  • 10/10/2023

Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui made a classy gesture of sportsmanship after his side's shock defeat to Portugal in their World Cup pool finale on Monday.

The Portuguese scored a late try to upset the Fijians by a single point in Toulouse and claim the most famous win in the rising rugby nation's history – their first at a World Cup.

After the match, Raiwalui entered the Portugal changing room bearing not just congratulatory messages, but a huge bag filled with Fijian kit.

The gift was wholeheartedly welcomed by the 'Os Lobos' squad, which is comprised mostly of amateur players.

Rugby World Cup shared Raiwalui's heartwarming act in a video on social media which has since garnered almost 13,000 likes on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Rugby in Portugal is still an amateur sport, with a just a few of the squad plying their trade abroad in professional leagues such as the French Top 14.

Despite losing 24-23, Raiwalui's Fiji still managed to scrape through as the second-placed qualifier in Pool C, setting up a quarter-final clash with England in Marseille on Monday.

Nevertheless, Portugal's victory was the crowning moment in a breakthrough campaign for the Europeans, leaving a fitting final impression after some encouraging results in France that also included a draw with Georgia and competitive displays against both Wales and Australia.