Wales v Fiji match preview
Posted 600 days ago
- Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
- Date: Sunday, 2 October
- Kick-off:0600 BST/ 1800 NZ
- Coverage: Scores and reports on BBC website plus live text commentaries on all home nations matches; updates on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio 5 live; watch live on ITV1, live commentary on BBC Radio Cymru (Welsh language) & TalkSport radio
Wales coach Warren Gatland has made seven changes to the starting XV against Fiji on Sunday from the XV that defeated Namibia on 26 September.
Scott Williams, who recorded a hat-trick of tries on his RWC debut against Namibia, has replaced Jonathan Davies at centre. Davies was the only Wales player who had featured in all previous 240 minutes of their RWC 2011 campaign.
Wales have decided to rest Shane William, who has 57 career Test tries to his name (55 for Wales and two for the British and Irish Lions) and ranks third all-time in that respect. Williams has recorded one try at RWC 2011.
Sam Warburton will captain his side for the fourth time at RWC 2011. Warburton will celebrate his 23rd birthday three days after the final pool match and is one of seven players to captain his side in all four pool matches at RWC 2011.
Alun Wyn Jones, who joins Jamie Heaslip (IRE) as the Six Nations players with most Test appearances since the end of RWC 2007 (41), is on the bench.
Gethin Jenkins will be starting at loosehead prop and will be featuring in his 12th Rugby World Cup match. This moves him into outright second place all-time among Wales players behind only Gareth Thomas.
George North, who became the youngest try scorer in World Cup history (19 years and 166 days) against Namibia, returns to the starting XV.
Fiji coach Samu Domoni has made 10 changes to the Fiji starting XV to play Wales on Sunday. The players left out include Deacon Manu, who had captained the side in their first three Pool D matches.
Netani Edward Talei, who scored the team’s only try in their last two matches, has been handed the captaincy.
Veteran Nicky Little will make the start at fly half, extending his Fiji record to 14 Rugby World Cup matches. He has collected points in three previous World Cups and needs to score points to join three players who have tallied at a record four different Rugby World Cups – Brian Lima (SAM), Gareth Thomas (WAL) and Gareth Rees (CAN).
Fiji are also starting at left wing, Michael Tagicakibau, their only previously unused player at RWC 2011. Michael, the younger of two brothers, missed a chance of squaring off against brother Sailosi, who represents Samoa, in Fiji’s last match.
Three players – Leone Nakarawa, Naipolioni Nailago and Kini Murimurivalu – have played in Fiji’s entire 240-minute campaign at RWC 2011 but of the trio, only Nakarawa is in the match-day 22 against Wales. The second row will be making his fourth straight start.
Vereniki Goneva is on the bench. The winger equalled the Fiji all-time RWC record for career tries (four) in Fiji’s first match at RWC 2011, the 49-25 defeat of Namibia, but has yet to touch down since then.Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.