Fiji v Australia in Canberra
Venue: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Sadly there will be little in the way of a contest as Fiji take on an Australian team that contains a number of new faces. Worry not. Even the new faces have played in the Super 14 competition where the pace is fast, tough and furious. As for Fiji, they lack most of their overseas players and many have not played a test for Fiji. Why they would want to start their 2010 Pacific Nations preparations with such a one-side contest I know not.
I can only see one way traffic, the score not as high as I first imagined, given Australia's new faces and rusty combinations.
Last Five Encounters
23.09.2007 Australia 55-12 in Montpellier (World Cup, Pool B)
09.06.2007 Australia 49-0 in Perth
18.09.1998 Australia 66-20 in Sydney (WCQ Oceania, Rnd C)
17.08.1985 Australia 31-9 in Sydney
10.08.1985 Australia 52-28 in Brisbane
Fiji last defeated Australia way back in 1954, when they won 18-16 in Sydney to share the series 1-1. Fiji's only other win against Australia was two years earlier when again they shared the series.
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-Australia 8th, Fiji 11th
Oceania Table-Australia 2nd, Fiji 3rd
IRB Ranking Points-Australia 85.56 3rd, Fiji 75.90 10th
Prediction: Australia by 45 points.
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (c), 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Ben Alexander.
16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Pekahou Cowan, 18 Mark Chisholm, 19 Matt Hodgson, 20 Josh Valentine, 21 Drew Mitchell, 22 James O'Connor.
Head Coach: Robbie Deans
15 Dan Rawaqa, 14 Tim Nagusa, 13 Saula Radidi, 12 Rupeni Caucaunibuca, 11 Sireli Bobo, 10 Waisea Luveniyali, 9 Emosi Vucago, 8 Jone Qovu, 7 Jim Nakaidawa, 6 Anthony Wise, 5 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 4 Seko Kalou, 3 Deacon Manu, 2 Talemaitoga Tuapati, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
16 Vili Veikoso, 17 Graham Dewes, 18 Rupeni Nasiga, 19 Samu Bola, 20 Vitori Buatava, 21 Ropate Ratu, 22 Nemani Nadolo.
Head Caoch: Samuela Domoni