The props work on the scrum machines during training for Fiji at the London Irish Rugby Club grounds. Photo: Fiji Rugby
The Wallabies play their opening match of the Rugby World Cup against the flamboyant Fijians in Cardiff on September 23.
Ironically, it is this very flamboyancy that will bring Fiji undone.
There is no doubt that if Fiji wins their fair share of possession they can threaten any side in the world, including the Wallabies.
New Zealand CEO Steve Tew expects highest grosses in this competition. Photo: Faifax NZ
World Rugby’s coffers may be about to burst with New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew expecting this year’s event to be the highest grossing World Cup yet.
Staged across 11 cities in England and Wales, the global tournament is projected to generate over £400 million ($870 million) in revenue – $315 million more than the 2011 World Cup.
Throw in an expected £2.2 billion to the local economy, thanks to 460,000 touted overseas visitors, and its pulling power is clear.
Fiji’s fly-half was born and bred in Cornwall but his heart was always with his father’s homeland
Josh Matavesi will be pivot for Fiji at the number 10 spot. Photo: The Guardian
Think of rugby in Cornwall and grizzled front-row forwards such as Brian “Stack” Stevens, Phil Vickery and Trevor Woodman spring to mind. Fijian fly-halves? Not so much. But marshalling the islanders’ backline at Twickenham on Friday, providing the platform for the sidesteps and body-swerves, will be Josh Matavesi – born and raised near the Camborne quarries rather than on Suva’s sand.
His father, Sireli, was a coconut farmer from the remote Vanua Balavu island but made such an impression on a Fiji Barbarians tour in the 1980s that Camborne RFC wanted him back. They found him a job in the nearby tin mines and it was with Camborne that Josh began a career that has included spells at Exeter, Racing 92, Worcester and now the Ospreys, earning a 14th Fiji cap in the dominant victory over Canada last Saturday.
The Queen is not expected to be at the opening ceremony and first game of this month’s World Cup
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II arrive at Scottish Borders town of Tweedbank on board the train drawn by the steam locomotive ‘Union of South Africa’ Tweedbank, Scotland, on Wednesday. Photo: EPA/ROBERT PERRY
She was guest of honour at the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but the Queen – Britain’s longest reigning monarch – will not be attending the opening ceremony and first match of the Rugby World Cup.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, will be at Twickenham for England’s game against Fiji a week on Friday, with an announcement expected on Thursday from Kensington Palace. But the Queen will not be cutting short her annual holiday in Balmoral for the start of the latest major sporting event hosted in Britain.
JOLLY GREEN-TROUSERED GIANTS: The Fiji squad sing for tourists at Hampton Court Palace welcome ceremony. Photo: Getty Images
LONDON – Fiji lived up to their billing as the great entertainers of world rugby, but this time off the field as their World Cup squad serenaded delighted tourists with a hymn outside one of Britain’s most historic palaces on Thursday.
The ever-popular Pacific visitors became the first team at RWC 2015 to enjoy their official welcome ceremony amid the splendour of Hampton Court Palace,.
However, the England team might not have felt it was such sweet music when Fiji’s captain Akapusi Qera declared: “We are so blessed to be here but we are here not to make up the numbers, we are here to perform.”
Jonny May has propelled English scoring opportunities on the wing with the help of Olympics champion. Photo: Reuters
Gold medallist and Gloucester sprint coach Marlon Devonish has helped wing whose game was too lateral become the deadly finisher who shone against Ireland
Jonny May was backed by an Olympic champion to be England’s “key” World Cup weapon as pool rivals Wales mourned the probable loss of two of theirs.
Marlon Devonish, one of Britain’s greatest sprinters, was on his feet cheering as May got England’s chariot back on track on Saturday – hours before Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb were crocked on Welsh duty. Continue reading
Samoa doing the siva tau in an international against Fiji. Photo: Zoomfiji
All three Pacific island teams have been world beaters in their own right in the past seven competitions but will the islanders break new ground in meeting up in the knock out stages in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Fiji will have to win Pool A to meet Samoa, as the second team from Pool B if they are to cross swords or vice versa, Samoa topping Pool B and Fiji making the second team from Pool A to advance to the quarterfinals.