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Fiji vs Italy Rugby League World Cup Preview and Team News - Fiji to cement quarter-final spot with another big win

Andrew Hendrie 8 Nov 2017
  • Fiji take on Italy in the World Cup on Friday night
  • First clash between the two nations
Fiji face Italy on Friday

Fiji will be looking to make it three wins from three in the World Cup round-robin stages and secure their spot in the quarter-finals when they face Italy at GIO Stadium on Friday night.

Dominant and with one foot in the quarter-finals, Fiji will be aiming to cement their place in the knockout stages of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup when the face Italy in the nation’s capital on Friday night.

Fiji have been explosive in a 58-12 win over USA and a 72-6 rout of Wales in their opening two matches, signalling their intent to cause some damage to some of the bigger nations in the quarter-finals and beyond.

After taking their foot off the pedal against USA - the last of their tries came with 15 minutes remaining - Fiji produced a full 80-minute display to destroy Wales last week, with Suliasi Vunivalu leading the way with a hat-trick of tries.

It will take a mammoth performance for Italy to win, let alone overturn the points differential enough for them to overtake Fiji and steal the one and only qualifying spot from Group D.

Nevertheless, the Italians will be confident of matching it with Fiji after overcoming a controversial build-up to pummel USA 46-0 last weekend.

James Tedesco and Shannon Wakeman both lined up for Italy after they were involved in a scuffle at a Cairns nightspot after an opening round defeat to Ireland, with the former slotting into the halves after Jack Johns was ruled out of the tournament with a broken arm.

The equation is simple for Italy - they must beat Fiji to have any chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals. However, with the form Fiji are showing at the moment, it seems very unlikely. There’s a chance Fiji may take their foot off the pedal after two big wins, but these players treasure competing for their country, so expect the Bati to put together another huge win on Friday night.

Stats


  • This will be the first ever meeting between the two nations
  • Fiji looking to make third straight World Cup quarter-final
  • Italy aiming to reach first World Cup quarter-final

Teams


Fiji squad: 1 Kevin Naiqama (c) 2 Suliasi Vunivalu 3 Taane Milne 4 Akuila Uate 5 Marcelo Montoya 6 Jarryd Hayne 7 Henry Raiwalui 8 Ashton Sims 9 Apisai Koroisau 10 Eloni Vunakece 11 Viliame Kikau 12 Brayden Wiliame 13 Tui Kamikamica 14 Joe Lovodua 15 Jacob Saifiti 16 Junior Roqica 17 Petero Benjamin Nakubuwai 18 James Storer 19 Salesi Faingaa 20 Sitiveni Moceidreke 21 Pio Sokobalavu

Italy squad: 1 James Tedesco 2 Mason Cerruto 3 Justin Castellaro 4 Nathan Milone 5 Josh Mantellato 6 Terry Campese 7 Ryan Ghietti 8 Paul Vaughan 9 Joseph Tramontana 10 Daniel Alvaro 11 Jayden Walker 12 Mark Minichiello (c) 13 Nathan Brown 15 Brendan Santi 16 Shannon Wakeman 17 Joel Riethmuller 18 Christophe Calegari 19 Gavin Hiscox 20 Richard Lepori 21 Colin Wilkie 22 Mirco Bergamasco

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Fiji vs Italy Rugby League World Cup Preview and Team News - Fiji to cement quarter-final spot with another big win

Fiji will be looking to make it three wins from three in the World Cup round-robin stages and secure their spot in the quarter-finals when they face Italy at GIO Stadium on Friday night.

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