Wales coach Warren Gatland insists he will be a neutral when England face Australia in the weekend's decisive Pool A clash despite the impact the result could have on his own side's progress in the tournament. Victory for the Wallabies will see Gatland's side progress to the quarter-finals, while a win for Stuart Lancaster's side will leave their place in the knock-out phase in doubt.
Gareth Davies and Scott Baldwin's tries secure Wales a 23-13 win over Fiji, their third successive win of the pool stage, but it does not yet guarantee them a place in the last eight after they failed to clinch a crucial bonus point. Gatland's side will be through with a game to spare if England lose at Twickenham on Saturday [4 October] but the New Zealander cannot bring himself to support the Australian team such is the rivalry between the now southern hemisphere nations.
"To be honest they do us a big favour don't they? It means we make the quarter final so it is hard not to, if we're being entirely selfish about our own destiny in reaching the quarter-finals," he said. "Australia can do us a big favour but it is a bit hard for a Kiwi to be jumping up and down cheering for the Aussies. I'll be quite neutral.
"It's a final for [England] so sometimes when your backs are up agent the wall, you've been criticised left, right and centre and sometimes that can galvanise you as a team. For England they know if they beat Australia they're through to the quarter-final. They have Uruguay next week and no disrespect they'll fancy themselves strongly for a bonus point.
"It is one game to make the quarter-finals and that is such an important game particularly as they were the team that got the bonus point against Fiji and both Australia and ourselves didn't do that so it makes next weekends game very exciting too. You can potentially miss out on the quarter-final by losing one of your pool matches and that is how tough it is."
With a succession of injuries having decimated the Wales squad both in the lead up and during the World Cup, Gatland confirmed his side had come through the test against Fiji unscathed and calmed tensions over a potential injury to fly-half Dan Biggar. The 25-year-old kicked 13 points to maintain is 100% record with the boot but was seen receiving treatment for a shoulder problem in the second half.
Gatland explained however that Biggar is only suffering from cramp, while Dan Lydiate will be assessed after taking a blow to the eye socket. "It was a really tough and physical encounter. We're delighted with the win and given the short turnaround we had to dig really deep and all the players have done well today.
"[There are] some sore and battered bodies at the moment we look like we're ok. It's just cramp for [Biggar]. [Dan Lydiate] he got a knock in the eye socket which we haven't had assessed yet."