Warren Gatland
Gatland has more injuries to deal with in the aftermath of the victory at Twickenham Getty Images

Wales will put themselves on the brink of the last eight with victory over Fiji in their third Pool A match at the Millennium Stadium.

Where to watch

Wales vs Fiji kicks off at 4.45pm BST on 1 October. Live coverage is available on ITV HD and BBC Radio 5 Live.


Following the heroics of Twickenham, Wales have their destiny in their hands as they look to complete an unlikely route out of the most difficult pool of all to reach the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup. Warren Gatland's men left south-west London bruised, battered but victorious and they stand perhaps only one win away from the last eight.

As is often the way for Wales, victory came at a cost to their increasingly depleted squad. Scott Williams and Hallam Amos, both of whom left the field during the 28-25 victory over England, are out for the rest of the tournament, while Liam Williams is unavailable for the Fiji game as he continues to nurse a concussion. James Hook and Gareth Anscombe come in but Wales are well beyond breaking point.

For the players who survived tournament wreaking injuries, there is the concern that following a five-day turnaround the after effects from a gruelling encounter could come back to haunt them. Bar the three enforced changes, Gatland has stuck with the same team that started against England as the New Zealander demands his players go again in a bid to reach the quarter-finals.

Such are the permutations in Pool A, made all the more complex by England grabbing a bonus point in defeat, Wales can afford no let up. Only a bonus point victory, thus matching the achievements of Stuart Lancaster's side on the opening day, will do ahead of a final day shoot-out with Australia.

Fiji may have wished to play the role of dark horses in this pool but the reality is they have been outfought and overrun in their two matches, without being able to play the type of rugby from which their Sevens reputations has been carved. Without the cited Nemani Nadolo, suspended after a tip tackle against Australia, John McKee has made six changes for the game but having only lost by four points at the Millennium Stadium in November 2014, his team can be confident of providing some kind of resistance.


Wales: 15. Matthew Morgan, 14. Alex Cuthbert, 13. Tyler Morgan, 12. Jamie Roberts, 11. George North, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Gareth Davies, 1. Gethin Jenkins, 2. Scott Baldwin, 3. Tom Francis, 4. Bradley Davies, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Dan Lydiate, 7. Sam Warburton, 8. Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: 16. Ken Owens, 17. Aaron Jarvis, 18. Samson Lee, 19. Luke Charteris, 20. Justin Tipuric, 21. Lloyd Williams, 22. Rhys Priestland, 23. James Hook.

Fiji: 15. Metuisela Talebula, 14. Timoci Nagusa, 13. Vereniki Goneva, 12. Lepani Botia, 11. Aseli Tikoirotuma, 10. Ben Volavola, 9. Nemia Kenatale; 1. Campese Ma'afu, 2. Sunia Koto, 3. Manasa Saulo, 4. Tevita Cavubati, 5. Leone Nakarawa, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 7. Akapusi Qera, 8. Netani Talei.

Replacements: 16. Viliame Veikoso, 17. Peni Ravia, 18. Leeroy Atalifo, 19. Nemia Soqeta, 20. Malakai Ravulo, 21. Henry Seniloli, 22. Joshua Matavesi, 23. Kini Murimurivalu.

What the coaches say

Warren Gatland: "The changes were enforced and I think there's an opportunity for that forward pack to play again. Some of the guys weren't 100% happy with their performance, so they have an opportunity to go out and fix a couple of things that we needed to tidy up from Saturday. It's a reward for them as well. We could have made some changes.

"It was pretty special afterwards in the changing room and the bus back. We haven't talked too much of England since and we haven't had much time for a review or to tidy things up from the game.

"The whole focus is preparing for Fiji - we know how important it is. We had a light session this morning and the focus is on making sure we're mentally right. We have to put Saturday behind us. It's incredibly important to get a result on Thursday and if do that we're in the box seat a bit more.

"Four and five-day turnarounds are too short. We're not complaining about it as we've known about that for a long time and prepared for that. We need to be aware of it. It's a pretty brutal game at the moment, with the contact. It's important that we look after the welfare of our players too."

Nemani Nadolo
Nadolo will be missing for Fiji after his tip tackle against Australia Getty Images

John McKee: "After two hard games against England and Australia in a short turnaround, we've got a number of bruised bodies and we were always going to make some changes for his game so the team we have picked are all 100% fit and that was part of the criteria. We have good depth in our squad and it is a very strong team we have picked for this game and we believe it is one that will be especially suited to playing against Wales.

"The spirit of the team is high. There is some disappointment that we've come through two games with nothing to really show for it in terms of points in the competition. For time in each game we've played quite well but we haven't been consistent enough across the 80 minutes. Against these top teams, and Wales are certainly one of those top teams, we need to be consistent across the 80 minutes."

"This is a very important game in terms of the pool for Wales but it's also an important game for us - though the quarter-finals are beyond us, third place in the pool is still a very important position as it automatically qualifies you for the next World Cup. So there's still a lot for us to play for, a lot on the line in this game on Thursday for both teams."

Other fixture

8pm: France vs Canada (Stadium MK)