The closing game in Pool B sees Tonga and Romania face off in Lille, with both aiming for their first victories in their final outings at the current Rugby World Cup.

Being drawn against holders South Africa, world number one Ireland and improving Scotland always meant these teams could struggle. However, while the Tongans have been competitive, Romania have been well off the pace.

The Oaks won the pair’s last meeting in 2021 by 32-20 but have lost their last eight matches. They have been way off the pace in France and have shown little to suggest things could be different on Sunday.

Tonga are the massive 1/200 favourites to win in Lille, with the tie 80/1 and Romania out at 25/1 to get the victory.

Tonga vs Romania Betting Tips

  • Tonga -37.5 @ 5/6
  • Ben Tameifuna Anytime Tryscorer @ 5/2

Team news 

Sonatane Takulua makes his first start of the tournament, captaining Tonga from scrum-half, while centre George Moala is set to make his belated Rugby World Cup debut following suspension, replacing another former All Black, Malakai Fekitoa, at outside centre.

Former Wallaby Adam Coleman starts in the second row, coming into a pack also featuring flanker Sione Havili Talitui, who has made 60 tackles in the tournament.

Romania have made nine changes for Sunday’s game, with hooker Ovidiu Cojocaru set to captain the side for the first time, with regular skipper Cristi Chirica dropping out altogether.

Chricia is replaced at number eight by Andre Gorin, while scrum-half Florin Surugiu will become his country’s joint-third most-capped player with 104 caps.

Lock Adrian Motoc is the only Romanian player to feature in every minute of his country’s campaign so far.

Tonga -37.5 @ 5/6

Previously a candidate to be one of the countries who could break into the top tier, Romania have dropped off and, after missing qualification in 2019, have been terrible in 2023.

Their try after three minutes against Ireland is all they have been able to muster, being nilled by both South Africa and Scotland.

Tonga, nicknamed ‘Ikale Taki or Sea Eagles, have taken time to settle after welcoming some new faces into their squad following the changes to the eligibility rules. However, they showed signs of promise in their 45-17 loss to the Scots and then pushed the Boks before falling away 49-18.

In contrast, Romania have lost all three of their matches by 74 points or more. They may get more of a look at the tryline against the Tongans but are unlikely to seriously test them.

Ben Tameifuna Anytime Tryscorer @ 5/2

Takulua’s return means prop Ben Tameifuna relinquishes the captaincy but the tighthead remains a vital part of his country’s plans.

The Bordeaux star is the only prop to have scored two tries at the tournament and has made more carries and beaten more defenders than any other player in his position.

His touchdown against South Africa was from close range but his effort in the defeat to Scotland was arguably more impressive, holding off all comers after receiving the ball 15 metres from the line and powering over.

The heaviest player at the World Cup, Tameifuna’s size means defences have a habit of underestimating his footwork and he is sure to be a threat again.

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