Victory over Fiji could set up a Quarter-Final Vs England
Warren Gatland will not make sweeping changes to his team for the match against Fiji on Wednesday, with 13 players maintaining their 100% starting record in the tournament.
With two victories from two, another victory will guarantee they top their group with a final game against Uruguay still to come. Wales have only gone through the group stages unbeaten once before in 1987 when they reached the semi-finals.
Wales have had ten days rest before their match on Wednesday, compared to Fijis six, and even though they have lost their first two matches, Gatland is expecting a bruising encounter, saying: “They were really strong in the second half against Georgia and have some real threats.
“We have to focus on ourselves. Shaun Edwards (the defence coach) has been speaking to the players about the fact we have not put in an 80-minute defensive performance yet. We have started our two games exceptionally well and if we do it again, it will take some of the excitement out of Fiji.”
After the stunning 29-25 win against Australia in their last match, Wales are on a high and Gatland will give some fringe players their opportunity with James Davies and Ross Moriarty coming in for Justin Tipuric and Aaron Wainwright in the back-row.
James Davies will start alongside his older brother Jonathan to become the third set of Welsh brothers to appear in a World Cup match, while Moriarty has proved himself to be a team man for Wales, something that Gatland has seen and believes will help them through their last remaining fixtures.
Wales Vs Fiji kicks-off on Wednesday 9th October at 10.45am
Wales: L Williams; North, Jonathan Davies, Parkes, Adams; Biggar, G Davies; Wyn Jones, Owens, Francis, Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (C), Navidi, James Davies, Moriarty.
Replacements: Carre, Dee, Lewis, Shingler, Wainwright, T Williams, Patchell, Watkin.
Fiji: Murimurivalu; Tuisova, Nayacalevu, Botia, Radradra; Volavola, Lomani; Ma’afu, S Matavesi, Saulo, Cavubati, Nakarawa, Waqaniburotu (C), Kunatani, Mata
Replacements: Dolokoto, Mawi, Ravai, Ratuniyarawa, Yato, Matawalu, Vatubua, J Matavesi
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