Australia vs Fiji - RWC 2015 preview: What time does it start, where can I watch it?

A look ahead to the Pool A fixture at The Millennium Stadium where Australia get their campaign started

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It’s a big game for…

Akapusi Qera. As the captain, the former Gloucester flanker is the man charged with leading this Fiji team to an unlikely victory over the Wallabies. With Australia choosing to play their best back row combination, the one which helped defeat the All Blacks in August, Qera will be fighting against the two opensides of Pocock and Hooper. His leadership and ability to protect the ball at the breakdown will be crucial in, at the least, preventing the traditional thumping the Australians deal to the Islanders.

Teams...

Australia: Israel Falou; Rob Horne, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper; Bernard Foley, Will Genia; David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy; Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons; Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Scott Sio.

Replacements: James Slipper, Greg Holmes, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale.

Fiji: Metuisela Talebulamaijaina; Waisea Nayacalevu, Vereniki Goneva, Gabiriele Lovobalavu, Nemani Nadolo; Ben Volavola, Nikola Matawalu; Netani Talei, Akapusi Qera, Dominiko Waqaniburotu; Leone Nakarawa, Tevita Cavubati; Manasa Saulo, Talemaitoga Taupati, Campese Ma’afu.

Replacements: Vili Veikoso, Peni Ravai Kovekalou, Isei Colati, Nemia Soqeta, Mala Ravulo, Nemia Kenatale, Josh Matavesi, Asaeli Tikoirotuma.

 

Best stat…

61. The number of years since Fiji beat Australia, the victory coming on June 26th 1954 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Of the 19 matches between these two sides, only two have been won by the Islanders, a solitary draw occurring in July 1961.

Remember when…

Matt Giteau was flattened by Saula Radidi. In 2010, Giteau received a pass from Quade Cooper, only to be lined up by the big centre. The impact was one of many we expect from the Fijians, but in a bad day for Giteau, he took another big hit from Timoci Nagusa.

 

Player to watch…

Israel Folau. Easily one of the best players to grace the rugby scene, it’s easy to forget he has just 33 caps. His debut against the British and Irish Lions brought the cross code star to everyone's attention, especially after George North decided to wear him as a rucksack. But even since moving to fullback, he’s kept up his high scoring rate, currently having scored 18 tries, and establishing himself as a potent attacking force.

Past three-meetings…

Australia 49 (Beale 2, Brown, Cooper, Ioane 2, Mitchell) v Fiji 3 Summer Internationals June 2010

Australia 55 (Ashley-Cooper, Giteau (2), Hoiles, Mitchell (3)) v Fiji 12 (Neivua, Ratuva). World Cup pool stages September 2007.

Australia 49 (Ashley-Cooper, Huxley, Larkham, Norton-Knight, Staniforth 2, Tuqiri 2) – Fiji 0 Summer Internationals June 2007.

Form guide…

Australia: LWWWLW

Fiji: DWWWWL

Vital information…

KICK-OFF TIME: 4.45pm Wednesday 23rd September

TV: Live on ITV, highlights on ITV4

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