Wales skipper Sam Warburton says Fiji has improved from the team that Wales defeated 66-0 in 2011. Photo: World Rugby
CARDIFF – They might have been decimated by injury, but Wales will forget all about their unprecedented misfortune if they make it three successive Pool A victories, at the expense of Fiji, in the Millennium Stadium on Thursday (Friday morning FT).
Having arrived at Rugby World Cup 2015 without his irrepressible full-back and goal-kicker Leigh Halfpenny, first-choice scrum-half Rhys Webb and centre Jonathan Davies, coach Warren Gatland has since lost Corey Allen to a hamstring tear and Scott Williams and Hallam Amos to knee and shoulder injuries respectively.
Fiji’s Leone Nakarawa is challenged by England skipper Chris Robshaw (left) and Dan Cole in Fiji’s 11-35 loss to England on September 18. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Fiji’s losses to England and Australia in the Pool A matches have seen the team drop a place to number 10 in the latest rankings of World Rugby released today.
After securing the number nine spot since clinching the World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup title on August 3, Fiji conceded the spot to Scotland whose back-to-back wins over Japan and the USA have seen them break into the top 10.
Wales, who Fiji face Friday morning, has climbed to second after defeating England over the weekend.
Fiji winger Nemani Nadolo in action against the Wallabies last week. Photo: World Rugby
LONDON – Fiji winger Nemani Nadolo will miss the match against Wales on Friday morning after getting a one week suspension for a dangerous tackle against the Wallabies last week.
Nadolo denied the citing by Independent Citing Commissioner Freek Burger (South Africa) for a ‘dangerous tip tackle’.
Nick Easter called up to replace Billy Vunipola for England in the Rugby World Cup. Photo: World Rugby
Number eight was on his way to train at Harlequins when he heard he was back on World Cup duty as replacement for injured Billy Vunipola
LONDON – Veteran England forward Nick Easter answered crucial calls from his dog, his professional conscience and his stomach before concentrating on the key one from his country on Monday.
The 37-year-old Easter revealed that he was told about his urgent call-up to the England squad by his Harlequins coach Conor O’Shea when he was driving to club training on Monday morning.
Easter was advised to do a U-turn and head home because England coach Stuart Lancaster would need him to replace the injured number eight Billy Vunipola, who has been ruled out of Rugby World Cup 2015 with a knee injury. But Easter had a few things to do first.
Fiji’s Nemani Nadolo (right) tackles Australia’s Scott Fardy. Photo: SMH
Wallabies veteran has seen a revival in the national team’s standing at home and abroad reinforced by the 28-13 Pool A victory over Fiji
BATH – With 109 caps, Australia wing Adam Ashley-Cooper has been around the Wallabies long enough to have experienced many high and lows.
For several years up until 2014 it was all lows as Australia’s international reputation in rugby took a bit of a battering, which had dire consequences for the game domestically, and resulted in other football codes moving head of rugby in the domestic pecking order.
Dominiko Waqaniburotu (2nd left) tip tackles Jonny May in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup. Photo: Matthew Impey/Rex Shutterstock
Dominiko Waqaniburotu of Fiji has been suspended for one week after admitting an act of foul play.
Following a review of broadcast footage, Waqaniburotu was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Douglas Hunter (Scotland) under Law 10.4(j) for a ‘dangerous tip tackle’ in the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A match against England.
The case was heard by Independent Judicial Officer Professor Lorne Crerar (Scotland) in accordance with the Rugby World Cup 2015 Disciplinary process.
Nakarawa says faith gives him perspective. Photo: Zimbio
As the Rugby World Cup countdown enters the last few hours, England and Fiji are going through their final preparations. The rugby playing world will focus on Twickenham on Friday night but the Fijian players’ ultimate attention is elsewhere: on God.
When TV pundits begin their post-match analysis, keep an eye out for the Fijian team. Win or lose, they will gather to pray.
Christian Today visited the squad at their team hotel in Surrey and found that behind one of the most aggressive, physical teams in rugby, the Fijian players are united by a deeply held Christian faith.