World Cup Preview: Australia v Fiji

Australia‘s Jarryd Hayne, who represented Fiji at the 2008 World Cup, is proud of his former teammates for reaching Saturday’s semi-final at Wembley (3.30pm).

Hayne is relishing the chance to play The Bati again after his four quarter-final tries helped the Kangaroos overcome the USA in the last round.

“I played them two weeks ago and it is very emotional,” said the Parramatta Eels captain.

“It is exciting for them and for me. It is great for them to have made it so far and I am pleased for them because I have got a lot of friends there.

“I was with one of the boys yesterday and we caught up for a little bit. The World Cup is such a fun tour, a lot of things happen behind the scenes that people don’t see. There is a lot of camaraderie and team bonding, it is awesome.”

Despite also making the semi-finals in 2008, Fiji came into the tournament ranked seventh in the world, but hooker James Storer believes that making the last four again is an indication that his side are better than their ranking suggests.

“The only time we have ever had our full squad is in the World Cup tournaments,” said Storer.

“When we have lost our ranking it is because we have had injuries or clubs wouldn’t release their players, so it goes to show that when we do have our full strength squad we are right up there.

“We will approach Australia the same way we approach everything else. We are a very spiritual team and one of the biggest things I have learned on this tour is that worrying is a sin and that is something I have been holding onto.

“We are not worrying, we will prepare as best we can and give it everything we can.”

With Billy Slater limping off injured in the Kangaroos’ last match, he is replaced in the matchday squad by Robbie Farah, while Brent Tate returns in place of Boyd Cordner.

Fiji have named an unchanged 19 from their impressive 22-4 win over Samoa.

Australia: Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans), Darius Boyd (Newcastle Knights), Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sutherland-Sharks), Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels), Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Brett Morris (St George Illawarra Dragons), Nate Myles (Gold Coast Titans), Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders), Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos), Matthew Scott (North Queensland Cowboys), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), James Tamou (North Queensland Cowboys), Brent Tate (North Queensland Cowboys), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys).

Fiji: Peni Botiki (Saru Dragons), Jayson Bukuya (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Petero Civoniceva (Redcliffe Dolphins), Kane Evans (Sydney Roosters), Aaron Groom (Asquith Magpies), Marika Koroibete (Wests Tigers), Apisai Koroisau (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Daryl Millard (Catalans Dragons), Ryan Millard (Burwood United), Kevin Naiqama (Newcastle Knights), Waisale Naiqama (Penrith Panthers), Vitale Junior (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Ashton Sims (North Queensland Cowboys), Tariq Sims (North Queensland Cowboys), James Storer (Collegians Illawarra), Akuila Uate (Newcastle Knights), Eloni Tui Michael Vunakece (Wyong Roos), Sisa Ledua (Melbourne Storm), Semi Radradra Turagasoli Waqavatu (Parramatta Eels).

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