Flying Fijians Gear Up for RWC 2023 Opener – Fifth RWC Face-Off with Wales

FIJI Water Flying Fijians Scrum coach Graham Dewes, who played a pivotal role in Fiji’s historic 38-34 victory over Wales at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, highlights the significance of challenging encounters against top-tier teams like France and England in the run-up to RWC 2023.

As the countdown continues to their opening game of the RWC2023 against Wales set for a 7am kick-off on Monday, September 11 (Fiji Time) at the Stade de Bordeaux, the Flying Fijians are maintaining their focus.

“It’s good for the team, we want to challenge ourselves, and it has been really good preparation in terms of competitions that we have had. It has been a very good build-up for us,” Dewes said.

Dewes said that while their performances against France and England have boosted their confidence, their approach to preparation remains consistent, focusing on teamwork and hard work and strengthening their bonding.

Hooker Tevita Ikanivere, a key member of the team, could not divulge much about the specifics of the game against Wales, but shed light on their preparation.

“We have been together for 7-8 weeks now. We keep building up levels and standards. And I think we are in a good place today, after today’s training.”

With two more training days ahead, he believes the boys will be fully prepared for the game against Wales.

Flyer Ilaisa Droasese also reflected on Fiji’s historic win over England, pointing out the magnitude of the achievement for a small nation like Fiji. Beating a rugby giant like England he says is a milestone achievement in the team’s history.

Wales and Fiji have faced off four times in RWC history, meeting during the pool stages of the 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019 tournaments. Fiji’s notable victory came in 2007, while Wales triumphed in the subsequent three encounters.

In their overall 13-match history, Wales has won 11 times, Fiji once, and there was one draw.

Their Rugby World Cup history includes:
2011: Wales dominated Fiji with a 66-0 victory.
2015: Wales won 23-13.
2019: Wales secured a 29-17 victory.

Their most recent meeting was in a November International in 2021, with Wales winning 38-23.

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