by Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sports, Port Moresby
In their lead up match to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, England thrashed Ireland 21-13 with Johnny May, Anthony Watson and Richard Wigglesworth dominating in attack.
Their attacking style has paid off in their build up matches, however the real deal is when the final whistle blows for kick off against Fiji in the early hours of Saturday morning at Twickenham Stadium.
Richard Wigglesworth, who has been named on the England bench, has said the team must rely on their set pieces and focus on their lineouts, against Fiji.
“Set piece we have to right, first and foremost and hopefully we can get some ascendency in the front. But in all bits in our game, we’re going to have to be good. We know they’re a good team and if we give them a turn over ball, they’re going to punish us,” he said.
Fiji, however, will be sure to match up to England’s attack. But whether or not they can equalise in the technicalities of the breakdown is a question that can only be answered on game day.
Leone Nakarawa, Campese Ma’afu, and Manasa Saulo have been named in the forwards, while Nemani Nadolo has been named in the backline, alongside Nikola Matawalu at halfback, and Waisea Nayacalevu on the wing.
Matawalu and Nayacalevu have been in outstanding form for the flying Fijians, particularly in the Pacific Nations Cup, and in their most recent 47-18 defeat of Canada.
Should the Fijians survive the battle against the English Roses, they will have it tough in their second pool match against the Australian Wallabies next week.
Fiji team to play England:
15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Waisea Nayacalevu, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Sakiusa Masi Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera (captain), 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 4 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Ma’afu. Replacements 16 Tuapati Talemaitoga, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Isei Colati, 19 Tevita Cavubati, 20 Peceli Yato, 21 Nemia Kenatale, 22 Joshua Matavesi, 23 Aseli Tikoirotuma
England team to play Fiji:
15-Mike Brown, 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Brad Barritt, 11-Jonny May, 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs; 8-Ben Morgan, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 6-Tom Wood, 5-Geoff Parling, 4-Courtney Lawes, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Tom Youngs, 1-Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16-Rob Webber, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Kieran Brookes, 19-Joe Launchbury, 20-Billy Vunipola, 21-Richard Wigglesworth, 22-Owen Farrell, 23-Sam Burgess.