Rugby World Cup 2019: Fiji

  • 01/04/2019

World ranking: Ninth

Qualification: First in Oceania

Best result: Quarter-finals 1987, 2007

TAB odds: $501

Chances: For all their speed and skill in sevens, and absolute passion for rugby, the Fijians have never really cracked the 15-a-side format, mainly due to their loosey-goosey style of play.

They've traditionally struggled in the forward exchanges, but are certainly capable of the odd upset, as they showed against France last year.

Leading players

Semi Radradra 

The former NRL star has taken to rugby with consummate ease. He can play anywhere in the back three, but Fijian coach John McKee favours him in the No.13 jersey, providing a genuine midfield attacking weapon. 

Josua Tuisova

One of the reasons why Fiji don't need Radradra out wide, Tuisova is the best player in the world that no-one has ever heard of. The Olympic sevens gold medallist has been a try-scoring machine for Toulon since 2013, scoring 44 tries. 

He is explosive and could be set to thrill the rugby world in Japan.

Leone Nakarawa

A veteran of 52 tests and two Rugby World Cups, Nakarawa is also an Olympic sevens gold medallist and was named in the RWC Team of the Tournament four years ago. Towering at 1.97m (6ft 6in), the lock forward runs like a back and tackles like Jerome Kaino. 

Squad 

Forwards: Mesulame Dolokoto, Samuel Matavesi, Ratu Vere Vugakoto, Campese Ma’afu, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, 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.

Pool draw (NZT)
September 21
Australia v Fiji, Sapporo, 4:45pm (live updates)

September 25
Fiji v Uruguay, Kamaishi City, 5:15pm

October 3
Georgia v Fiji, Higashiosaka City, 6:15pm

October 9
Wales v Fiji, Oita Prefecture, 10:45pm (live updates)

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Rugby World Cup 2019 Dictionary

The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

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