By David Marsh
The 2015 Rugby World Cup kicks off with the hosts England taking on Fiji – a team the Red Rose has never lost to in five previous encounters.
November 2012: England 54 Fiji 12, Twickenham
October 1999: England 45 Fiji 24, Twickenham (RWC QF 1999)
July 1991: Fiji 12 England 28, Suva
November 1989: England 58 Fiji 23, Twickenham
June 1988: Fiji 12 England 25, Suva
November 10, 2012 at Twickenham during the Autumn Internationals. England won 54-12.
Sharples 2, Penalty try, Monye, Johnson, Tuilagi 2
Conversions: Flood 4
Penalties: Flood 3
Matawalu, Kalou. Conversion: Matavesi
Players who played in 2012 who also feature on Friday
Stuart Lancaster’s match day squad includes 12 players who fronted up against the Fijians at Twickenham back in 2012.
Lancaster has opted with the tried and tested in his pack. Joe Marler, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling and Chris Robshaw all start tonight as they did in 2012.
Tom Wood retains his spot in the squad. He starts tonight but featured on the replacements bench in 2012.
In the back line, the only familiar starter is centre Brad Barritt. Ben Youngs and Mike Brown were substitutes in 2012 but start the game tonight.
England’s substitution bench also looks familiar to the 2012 match with Mako Vunipola, Joe Launchbury and Owen Farrell all named on Lancaster’s replacements bench this evening.
Although the Pacific Islanders have a new head coach at the helm, John Mckee has stuck with a number of the same players that former coach Inoke Male used during his time in charge.
Seven of the starters from 2012 have retained their starting berth for tonight’s fixture as they hope to assuage the anguish of a heavy defeat the last time they faced England at Twickenhem.
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Fiji have stuck with the lock pairing from 2012 match of Apisolame Ratuniyarawa and Leone Nakarawa. They are joined in the pack by Manasa Saulo and Akapusi Quera, both of which also started at Twickenham in 2012.
Centre Vereniki Goneva retains his starting spot on the Fijian midfield and Metuisela Talebula also featured as fly half in 2012, but starts at fullback tonight.
Ospreys man Josh Matavesi is included again on the replacements bench, as he was in 2012.
Total number of caps in starting XVs
Average age of World Cup squad
England: 26.0 years
Fiji: 28.4 years