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Beware Of Fiji, Warns Wallabies Coach

London: Coach Michael Cheika has warned of the “massive” threat posed by Fiji in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup opener, saying he can’t afford to look further ahead in the
08 Sep 2015 10:00
Beware Of Fiji, Warns Wallabies Coach
Michael Cheika.

London: Coach Michael Cheika has warned of the “massive” threat posed by Fiji in the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup opener, saying he can’t afford to look further ahead in the pool of death.

Cheika opened up about the challenge looming from Fiji in Cardiff on September 23 after watching his largely second-string Wallabies defeat the US by 47-10 in Chicago on Sunday.

Traditional heavyweights Australia, England and Wales are the three sides expected to be vying for the two quarterfinal places on offer from the World Cup’s fiercely competitive Pool A.

Cheika believes that so many Fijians players are now plying their trade at the highest level of the game in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is a cause for concern.

“Fiji is going to be a massive threat,” Cheika said.

“I’m not saying that any type of lip service. I’ve coached in Europe, I’ve seen a lot of those players who are playing in Europe evolve over a long period of time.

“Half of them are playing in the Southern hemisphere in Super Rugby.

“They’ve got experience now of the top level of rugby provincially which they probably didn’t have before and I think they’re going to be a massive challenge.”

The unorthodox attacking threat posed by Fiji, who won the Pacific Nations Cup in July with victory over Samoa, meant Australia’s defensive game would need to be at its meanest, Chieka added.

“If there’s one area that we want to be solid on it’s probably defence,” Chieka said. “We need to be rock solid there.”

The USA game had been useful preparation for the Fijian challenge, the Australia coach added.

“It was a good match for us because the physicality the American team brings would have been a really good test for our forwards,” Chieka said.

“We knew they had some big hard runners. I think it was a really good match to have in this block of two weeks while we were here.”



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