Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Not underestimated: Wales wary of Fiji's giantkiller reputation

Warren Gatland Warren Gatland will end 12 years in charge of Wales at the conclusion of Rugby World Cup 2019
Shannon Reynolds | 09 October, 2019, 17:01

Fiji round out their round-robin fixtures against Wales and head coach John McKee has made just the one adjustment to the side that started the resounding 45-10 win over Georgia last time out. Fiji won 38-34 when the nations met in the 2007 tournament, a result that saw them progress to the knockout stages at the expense of Gareth Jenkins' side.

"It's a huge disappointment when you get knocked out in the group stages", he recalled. - Wales' 66-0 win against Fiji in 2011 remains the only time they have shut out their opponents at a Rugby World Cup - Alun Wyn Jones has now made the most tackles (162) by any player for Wales in the history of the tournament.

Fiji now sit in third place on the pool D ladder with 7 points, Australia is in first place with 11 points and Wales is in second with 9 points.

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Georgia trailing by just 2 points difference pose the largest threat to Fiji's position, should they pull out a miracle performance against Australia in their final match, the Lelos could steal third place on the final whistle. We have just got to concentrate on ourselves and make sure our set-piece and everything is right, and all our patterns are there. Wales head coach Warren Gatland spoke of the players joking with him after he announced the team.

He has also demanded an 80-minute defensive effort, mindful that France were nearly tipped over by a strong finishing Tonga on Sunday, and it was a later try that won it for Fiji in 2007.

Gatland said he has stressed why winning the pool undefeated is important regardless of who they will likely play in the quarter-finals - which will be decided by next weekend's clash between England and France.

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