Australia’s second match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup is today against Fiji, who very nearly pulled off a last-gasp victory over Wales in their opening game of the tourament.
Eddie Jones’s second stint as Wallabies head coach has not gone very well so far, although he finally got a victory under his belt when Australia beat Georgia on the opening weekend.
Going into the second round of fixtures at this World Cup, Australia are joint top of Pool C with five points and Fiji are third, owing to the two bonus points they won in the defeat to Wales.
When is it?
This match is today (17 September) kicking off at 4.45pm UK time (5.45pm local time).
It’s the seventh of eight games taking place on the second weekend of the tournament (which starts on Thursday). For a full list of fixtures, see our comprehensive guide to the pool stages.
What is the latest team news?
Australia remain hopeful captain Will Skelton will be fit to face Fiji despite having scans on a calf injury.
Line-out coach Dan Palmer said: “We are giving Will as much time as possible to get ready for the game.
“He’s in treatment, working with the physios at the moment. We’ll give him until the last minute.
“There’s no mind games, we are just giving him as long as possible. He’s an important part of our team and we’re prepared to do that. He might play and he might not.”
Palmer confirmed Matt Philip will come into the side should second row Skelton fail to make it with David Porecki taking over as skipper.
Veteran prop James Slipper, scrum-half Nic White and lock Nick Frost are also set to feature.
Australia XV: B Donaldson; M Nawaqanitawase, J Petaia, S Kerevi, M Koroibete; C Gordon, N White, A Bell, D Porecki, J Slipper, N Frost, W Skelton, T Hooper, F McReight, R Valetini.
Replacements: J Uelese, B Schoupp, Z Nonggorr, R Arnold, R Leota, I Fines-Leleiwasa, L Foketi, S Vunivalu.
Where is it?
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard hosts this one, in Saint-Étienne. It’s the oldest stadium being used at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and has a capacity of 42,152.
Who is the referee?
Andrew Brace, a Welshman, is in charge, with Jaco Peyper and Chris Busby working as his assistants. Brace came in for criticism back in 2020 for his performance in England’s Autumn Nations Cup game against France but is now a regular for top Tests.
How to watch on TV
ITV has exclusive broadcast rights to show the Rugby World Cup in the UK. Almost all the matches are being shown live on ITV1, including this one.
Radio commentary will be available only on the BBC, across Radio 5 Live, 5 Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds.
How do I get tickets?
There are still limited tickets available, through the tournament’s official ticketing website.
What is the recent history between the teams?
In recent times, Fiji have not troubled Australia. In fact, the last time Fiji beat the Wallabies was in 1954.
These two teams have World Cup history, albeit all in Australia’s favour. At the 2019 World Cup, Fiji were beaten by Australia 39-21. They lost 28-13 in the 2015 edition and were beaten 55-12 in the 2007 World Cup.
What are the odds?
Australia to win 4/9
Fiji to win 9/5