Wallaby coach Cheika warns of Fiji RWC threat

Australia’s head coach Michael Cheika has warned his Wallaby players that their
Rugby World Cup pool opponents Fiji pose a serious threat in the “pool
of death”.

Australia, England and Wales look likely to be in the closest battle in the
places for the quarter-final as they are all in Pool A along with Fiji who were
recently crowned Pacific Nations Cup champions.

Wallabies coach Cheika says that he is only focused on his team’s opening Rugby
World Cup match against Fiji in Cardiff.

Cheika believes the fact that so many Fijian players are now plying their trade
at the highest level of the game in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres is
cause for concern.

“Fiji are going to be a massive threat,” Cheika said.

“I’m not saying that with any type of lip service. I’ve coached in Europe,
I’ve seen a lot of those players who are playing in Europe evolve over a long
period of time.

“Half of them are playing in the southern hemisphere in Super Rugby. They’ve
got experience now of the top level of rugby provincially which they probably
didn’t have before and I think they’re going to be a massive challenge.”

The unorthodox attacking threat posed by Fiji, who won the Pacific Nations
Cup in July with victory over Samoa, meant Australia’s defensive game would
need to be at its meanest, Cheika added.

“If there’s one area that we want to be solid on it’s probably defence,”
Cheika said. “We need to be rock solid there.”

Australia completed their match pre-world cup match schedule with a 10-47 victory
over the USA in Chicago on Saturday and Cheika said that it was useful preparation
for the Fijian challenge.

“It was a good match for us because the physicality the American team
brings would have been a really good test for our forwards,” Cheika said.

“We knew they had some big hard runners. I think it was a really good
match to have in this block of two weeks while we were here.”

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