RLWC2021 – Australia v Fiji: Team news, how to watch on TV & predictions

Australia v Fiji

Everything you need to know – Australia v Fiji. 

Reigning champions Australia kick-off their Rugby League World Cup campaign against Fiji on Saturday.

Australia defeated England 6-0 in the 2017 World Cup final Down Under, and will be looking to make it three title wins in a row, having also claimed the trophy at the 2013 tournament.

Fiji have reached the semi-finals on the last three occasions of the World Cup, defeating New Zealand 4-2 in the quarter-finals in 2017.

They fell to a 50-0 defeat to hosts England during their preparations, while also losing several players for the tournament due to injury.

The match will be the seventh time the two nations have met in a Rugby League Test match. 

Match details

  • Australia v Fiji
  • Date: Saturday 15th October
  • Kick-off time: 7:30pm
  • Venue: Headingley Stadium, Leeds
  • Group A

Australia v Fiji team news

The Aussies will wear jerseys completely unreflective of their playing positions in a system based on when they made their international debut. 

Australia 19-man squad: 1. James Tedesco (c) 9. Josh Addo-Carr 8. Latrell Mitchell 4. Valentine Holmes 23. Murray Taulagi 7. Cameron Munster 2. Daly Cherry-Evans 18. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 3. Ben Hunt 5. Jake Trbojevic 17. Angus Crichton 22. Jeremiah Nanai 11. Cameron Murray (Interchange: 20. Harry Grant 16. Reuben Cotter 13. Patrick Carrigan 10. Jack Wighton 12. Matt Burton 19. Campbell Graham

Fiji 19-man squad: 1.Sunia Turuva, 2.Maika Sivo, 4.Kevin Naiqama (c), 6.Sitiveni Moceidreke, 7.Brandon Wakeham, 9.Apisai Koroisau, 10.Ben Nakubuwai, 11.Taniela Sadrugu, 12.Viliame Kikau, 13.Tui Kamikamica,  14.Penioni Tagituimu, 16.Lamar Manuel-Liolevave, 17.King Vuniyayawa, 18.Netane Masima, 19.Semi Valemei, 21.Isaac Lumelume   22.Josh Wong, 23.Jowasa Drodrolagi, Vuate Karawalevu

What the two camps are saying

Mal Meninga said: “The team is well balanced in all positions. I’m not worried about experience. A lot have State of Origin and finals experience. I know all my players who put the Green and Gold jersey on are going to play with passion.”

Fiji captain Kevin Naiqama said: “We’re really excited. The excitement has been really building for a long time now, this is five years in the making. The boys are excited to be here and exploring the country, but also looking forward to getting into some hard work and doing our Fiji proud.

“It’s a very tough group. You’ll be kidding yourself if you think there are going to be any easy matches in this World Cup. For me, this is my third World Cup and I feel like it’s the strongest.

“It’s going to take all of us to be at our best (to beat Australia).”

Noqu Masu: Unique insight into the beautiful Fijian hymn

How can I watch the game on TV?

Every game across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair World Cup tournaments is being broadcast by the BBC.

The game will be live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.

LIST: How to watch every Rugby League World Cup game on the BBC

Odds and predictions

Australia are massive favourites heading into the game at 1/250 with Planet Sport Bet. In fact, Meninga’s Kangaroos are 8/15 to win the whole tournament, with New Zealand second favourites at 7/2.

Fiji, who are 50/1 to win the campaign, are a massive 18/1 to defeat Australia on Saturday evening.

Unfortunately, you have to agree with the odds. Australia are stacked with talented players, with seven players set for their debuts, and look towards a comfortable win over their opponents.

More World Cup content

Tonga’s Jason Taumalolo proud of Samoa stars for representing heritage

England v Samoa: Team news, how to watch on TV & predictions

We were forced to do that: Mal Meninga defends Australia squad number controversy

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app and podcast

About Josh McAllister 2126 Articles
Journalist. Joined the Love Rugby League team full time at the start of 2022 having been a freelance reporter for several years. Previously media manager for Swinton and Rochdale.

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