Fiji World Cup Rugby betting preview
The Flyings Fijians are rated $501 with bookmakers to win the Rugby World Cup in Japan and $34 just to win Pool D, but a quick look at their list of scalps tells you they are not to be trifled with.
Less than a year ago they beat France 21-14 at Stade de France, and the year before that they upstaged Scotland.
Of course, Fiji are renowned for sevens rugby and won a memorable Olympic gold medal in that sport in Rio in 2016. That carries over into the 15-man game where they are big, fast and play expansive rugby.
Their recent form is solid without being exceptional and they are usually the strongest of the Pacific Island nations at this event.
They have their work cut out in a group that features the highly fancied Wales and Australia, plus the tough Georgians, but they will fear no team and if they can get off to a good start against Australia they must be some chance of advancing to the next round.
One thing is for sure, they are a wonderful side to watch.
Where Fiji will finish in the 2019 Rugby World Cup
WGL prediction: Eliminated in group stage. They have not drawn the toughest possible group but it’s still a big ask to get past Australia and Wales.
Previous best World Cup result: Quarter-finals 1987, 2007
Fiji’s Rugby World Cup draw
Match 2: Australia v Fiji, Saturday, Sep 21, Pool D, Sapporo Dome
Match 10: Fiji v Uruguay, Wednesday, Sep 25, Pool D, Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium
Match 21: Georgia v Fiji, Thursday, Oct 3, Pool D, Hanazono Rugby Stadium
Match 32: Wales v Fiji, Wednesday, Oct 9, Pool D, Oita Stadium
Fiji’s most recent results
July 27: Japan 34 d Fiji 21, Pacific Nations Cup, Kamaishi, Japan
August 3: Fiji 38 d Canada 13, Pacific Nations Cup, Suva, Fiji
August 10: Fiji 10 d Samoa 3, Pacific Nations Cup, Suva, Fiji
August 31: Fiji 29 d Tonga 19, Tonga tour/Fiji tour, Auckland, New Zealand
Fiji’s record against Pool D rivals
Australia: Played 21: won 2, lost 18, drawn 1. Points for: 248, Points against: 611
Wales: Played 11: won 1, lost 9, drawn 1. Points for: 145, Points against: 329
Georgia: Played 3: won 2, lost 1. Points for: 64, Points against: 48
Uruguay: Played 3: won 3, lost 0. Points for: 154, Points against: 46
Fiji squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup
Coach: John McKee
Forwards: Campese Ma’afu, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Mesulame Dolokoto, Samuel Matavesi, Ratu Vere Vugakoto, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Manasa Saulo, Kalivati Tawake, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Api Ratuniyarawa,Tevita Ratuva, Semi Kunatani, Viliame Mata, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato.
Backs: Frank Lomani, Nikola Matawalu, Henry Seniloli, Levani Botia, Jale Vatubua, Ben Volavola, Vereniki Goneva, Filipo Nakosi, Waisea Nayacalevu, Semi Radradra, Josua Tuisova, Joshua Matavesi, Alivereti Veitokani, Kini Murimurivalu.
Leading try-scorer prediction for Fiji
Semi Radradra: The former rugby league star has not been as prolific as he was in his days lighting up the field for Parramatta in the NRL, but he is a big occasion player. It’s reported he is considering a return to the 13-a-side game and this is a great shop window. A powerhouse in a game of giants, Radradra runs straight, hard and fast. We are glad we don’t play wing for the opposition side.
Fiji predictions – can they repeat past heroics?
Here at the WGL we have a soft spot for the Fijians for the freedom with which they can often play. It stands in stark contrast to the sometimes slow and deliberate styles of some of the leading teams. We want to see them razzle and dazzle their way into the quarter-finals but feel they will probably be outgunned in the art of forward play by the likes of Australia and Wales and possibly even Georgia. A team to watch nonetheless for they have players that can provide some scintillating highlights.
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