Although we are still waiting for the first earth-trembling shock of the Rugby World Cup, there have been plenty of moments to savour for fans of the underdog.

Star-studded Fiji’s stirring victory over Australia blew Pool C wide open, while Uruguay and Portugal earned widespread plaudits for their performances in defeat to France and Wales respectively.

This year, there has been more reason to believe than ever that a rarely spotted Pool-stage upset could occur, thanks to a change in World Rugby’s eligibility rules two years ago.

Now, any player who has not played international rugby for three years is allowed to switch allegiance to another country they are eligible to play for – through birth or by having a parent or grandparent born there.

The rule change has helped bolster the squads of several smaller nations, and Scotland’s next opponent Tonga have been one of the major beneficiaries, travelling to France with five ex-All Blacks stars and one former Australia player in their ranks.

Their call-ups led coach Toutai Kefu to describe this as “the best Tongan side ever assembled” ahead of the tournament.

So who are the new yet familiar faces looking to make the Scots the first victims of a 2023 World Cup shock in Nice on Sunday?

Malatai Fekitoa

The 31-year-old centre has achieved the greatest prize in the sport, winning the 2015 Rugby World Cup with New Zealand.

Fekitoa earned 24 caps for the All Blacks between 2014 and 2017, scoring eight tries and playing a key role in their 2016 Rugby Championship victory, as well as featuring in the third test against the British and Irish Lions the following year.

At club level, Fekitoa made his name with the Highlanders in Super Rugby before moving to Europe to join Toulon in 2017.

A spell at Wasps followed before he started at inside centre for Munster’s URC final win over the Stormers in May, going out on a high before completing a move to Benetton Treviso.

Salesi (Charles) Piutau

Piutau, also 31, is a versatile back who is well known to English Premiership fans for his sensational five-year spell with Bristol Bears.

He made his Test debut for New Zealand in 2013 and went on to pull on the black jersey 17 times, winning every game and scoring five tries.

Piutau was unfortunate to miss out on selection for the 2015 World Cup and is therefore gracing the tournament for the first time this year.

He moved to Europe in 2015 for spells with Wasps, Ulster and Bristol, and will join Japanese side Shizuoka BlueRevs after the World Cup.

Augustine Pulu

Scrum-half Pulu provides yet more stardust to the Tongan backline. The 33-year-old only featured twice for New Zealand, making his debut in a win over the USA in 2014 before coming off the bench in a 24-16 win over Scotland the same year.

He also starred for the All Blacks sevens team and went to the 2016 Olympics, where New Zealand were knocked out by Fiji in the quarter-finals.

Pulu plays his club rugby in Japan for Hino Red Dolphins since 2018, and previously played for the Chiefs and the Blues.

Vaea Fifita

Powerful forward Fifita started in the No. 8 shirt against Ireland but can be used across the back row and second row.

He won 11 caps for the All Blacks from 2017-2019 and will also be familiar to followers of the domestic game in the UK after spells with Wasps and current side Scarlets.

George Moala

Clermont’s Moala was the only former All Black not to feature against Ireland, due to suspension, and will be banned for the Scotland clash too.

The 32-year-old, who plays on the wing or at centre, only made four All Blacks appearances but made his mark by scoring three tries.

Adam Coleman

Former Wallaby lock Coleman was part of Australia’s 2019 World Cup squad and last featured in their quarter-final defeat to England from the bench.

The towering 6ft 8in Bordeaux Begles forward earned 38 caps and is a force to be reckoned with in the line-out.