Being a tier 1 nation allows you to pay more. does it though? i would have assumed payments were just what the national bodies could afford. I doubt there is an upper limit. It allows you to play the other tier 1 teams more often, especially outside of WCs. Again, does it? I would have thought these non-WC games just depended on how organised and promoted them. Nothing stopping these nations organising games, and a Tier 1 ranking probably wouldnt make them do more It allows you to be more attractive to players with dual (or more) eligibility. No it doesnt, the payments do that. Short of parity in match-payments, being Tier 2 would HELP these nations as players can go to a Tier 2 nation if they arent selected for the Aussies/NZ/Brits. Putting them into Tier 1 means players either put this team first or cut their ties. It allows you to keep the rest in their place. The tiers is a practical structure, any connotations attached are pretty minor and would stem more from general performance than a given ranking. If Tonga stay on form and knock over the Aussies, staying in Tier 2 would do nothing to their image; would would still be the giant slayers.