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Kiwis face tough Tongan test in Hamilton

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Kiwis face tough Tongan test in Hamilton

After weeks of waiting, one of the most anticipated matches of the Rugby League World Cup will take place in Hamilton on Saturday.

Click Here To Watch Rugby Live Coverage : New Zealand Rugby Live Streaming Kiwis

The New Zealand-Tonga showdown has been one of the most hotly talked about games of the tournament, closely behind last weekend’s battle of the Pacific between Samoa and Tonga.

Just hours before New Zealand named their squad for the World Cup, four players, including superstar Jason Taumalolo, defected from the Kiwis to Mate Ma’a Tonga.

At the time New Zealand coach David Kidwell said he respected those players decisions, but was disappointed they couldn’t pick up the phone and tell him first hand of their decision.

But Kidwell says the whole saga is water under the bridge.

“Time I suppose heals. Jason’s playing for Tonga and we’ve got guys playing for New Zealand so if the opportunity arises and I get to talk to him, 100 per cent I will.”

With the inclusion of Taumalolo, last year’s joint winner of the NRL’s best player award, and fellow stars such as Andrew Fifita, Tonga have become one of the brightest prospects of the world cup.

Before this year, Tonga had never made it out of pool play at a world cup but have already qualified for the quarter finals with wins over Scotland and Samoa.

Tonga hooker Sione Katoa said to make it this far has been overwhelming.

“We’ve all got big hearts and at the end of the day all we want to do the best for our nation and our families.

Tonga’s achievements have not only been noted by their fans, but the Kiwis team also know what a threat Mate Ma’a can be.

Kiwis hooker Thomas Leulaui says this week’s trainings have intensified as they prepare to face their toughest test yet.

“I don’t know if it’s for the reason that those players defected, it’s just purely on how good a team Tonga is.

“Definitely we know that we’re coming up against a really strong team with quality players right across the park so naturally the intensity rises.”

Expect that intensity to be at its peak when the two teams meet each other on Saturday, with kick-off set for 5pm.


Source: radionz.co.nz

Fiji v Italy Rugby League World Cup live coverage

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Fiji v Italy Rugby League World Cup live coverage

TERRY Campese will return to Canberra Stadium as Italy take on Fiji in the final game of Group C.

The Fijians have been in red-hot form, running up big scores against the USA and Wales while Italy rebounded from their opening match defeat to Ireland with their own victory over the Americans.

It’ll take a riotous Italian victory to propel the Azzuri into the knockout stages and Fiji can only play with adventure, meaning this own promises to be a free-flowing affair from the jump. Watch Live Rugby Streaming

We’ll have live updates on all the action from 7pm ahead of the 7.40pm (AEDT) kick off.

Source: dailytelegraph.com.au

PREVIEW: Fiji v Italy

Fiji will be looking to progress through to the quarter-finals with three wins out of three on Friday as they take on Italy. 

The Bati put in a very dominant display last week as they thrashed Wales 72-6 in Townsville and Mick Potter’s side ran in 14 tries – a staggering amount.

Meanwhile, Italy put a bad week on and off the field behind them as they put in a clinical performance and defeated the USA 46-0 last Sunday.

Terry Campese is set to play his very last game of professional Rugby League this week and is set to don the No. 6 jersey for one last time so the Azzurri will be doing everything they can to send the former Hull KR star out on a high.

However, it is going to be a mammoth task for Italy as they come up against a hugely talented Fiji side that have won their first two games against the USA and Wales, scoring 130 points while only conceding 18 points.

Fiji currently sit comfortably at the top of Group D and Italy will have to score a lot of points and win the game if they are in with a chance of making it to the quarter-finals.

There will be a lot of NRL talent on show in both sides and it is expected to be a high-scoring game on Friday.


There will be a couple of key battles all over the park such as Suliasi Vunivalu coming up against Josh Mantellato on the wing or hookers Apisai Koroisau and Joey Tramontana but the key battle in this game will be between Mark Minichiello and Viliame Kikau.

Minichiello is the Italy captain for this World Cup tournament and is the ultimate professional. He was a key figure in the NRL with South Sydney Rabbitohs and Gold Coast Titans before cracking the Super League with Hull FC and he always runs a superb line.

While Minichiello is at the back end of his career, Kikau is at the opposite end of the spectrum as he has only made nine NRL appearances for Penrith Panthers so far. But, looking at him, you would never believe that he is only 22 and he always troubles defences.


Likewise with the key battles, there are a few good individuals to keep an eye out for both sides but Kevin Naiqama is the one to watch for Fiji. The Bati skipper has been world class in this tournament so far and is a brilliant support player, but also has great footwork.

The one to watch for Italy has to be Terry Campese. The former Canberra Raiders and Hull KR star has struggled with injuries in the tournament but he is a great general. He is one of the best organisers in the game and will be looking to end his career with an international victory.


FIJI: 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. Subs: 14. Joe Lovodua, 15. Jacob Saifiti, 16. Junior Roqica, 17. Ben Nakubuwai. Reserves: 18. James Storer, 19. Salesi Faingaa, 20. Sitiveni Moceidreke, 21. Pio Seci.

ITALY: 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. Joey Tramontana, 10. Daniel Alvaro, 11. Jayden Walker, 12. Mark Minichiello, 13. Nathan Brown. Subs: 15. Brendan Santi, 16. Shannon Wakeman, 17. Joel Riethmuller, 18. Christophe Calegri. Reserves: 19. Gavin Hiscox, 20. Richard Lepori, 21. Colin Wilkie, 22. Mirco Bergamasco.


Referee – Robert Hicks, Touch Judges – Michael Wise & Liam Moore, Video Referee – Ben Thaler.


Fiji are clear favourites to win the game because they have been scoring points for fun so far but Italy proved last week that they can play and will be looking to come out of their last game of the tournament with a win but loverugbyleague.com predicts Fiji by 32 points.

You can watch the game LIVE on Premier Sports at 08:30am on Friday 10 November.

How do you see the game going? Who will win? Let us know in the comments below.




Autumn Tests: England’s NextGen – Underhill, Curry, Genge, Williams, Isiekwe

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Autumn Tests: England’s NextGen – Underhill, Curry, Genge, Williams, Isiekwe

With Eddie Jones looking to establish a settled England squad well before the 2019 World Cup in Japan, now is the time for young hopefuls to force their way into his thoughts. Live Rugby Streaming

There are three teenagers among the half-a-dozen fresh faces in Jones’ wider squad hoping to book a trip to East Asia.

England play three Tests this November, starting against Argentina on Saturday – so who are the next generation hoping to make their mark?

Ex-England and Lions winger Ugo Monye and BBC rugby union reporter Chris Jones assess Jones’ young pups.

Sam Underhill – 21, one cap

The flanker, who starts in the seven shirt against Argentina on Saturday, has been on the radar for years. He finally became eligible in the summer after his move to Bath from Ospreys – he was at university in Wales – as only England-based players can be selected.

He was thrust into the squad – and then capped against Argentina in the summer – without delay. Not your classic ‘fetcher’ as such, but the 6ft 1in, 16st 3lb open-side is defensively destructive, with an engine that has drawn comparisons with the great former All Black Richie McCaw.

In the Premiership match at Northampton in September, he made an astonishing 25 tackles. CJ

Tom Curry – 19, one cap

The Sale teenager is not the biggest at 6ft 1in and 16st, but at 19, he’s already very powerful in contact and is only going to get stronger – although sadly for him, an injury sustained in training on Thursday means he has had to give up his bench spot to fellow youngster Sam Simmonds of Exeter.

Curry is a traditional tackler in the Lewis Moody mould and is probably the closest of England’s back rowers to an old-fashioned open-side flanker. However, that’s hard to assess given the way rugby is being played at the moment, with turnovers at a premium following recent rule changes that make it harder to compete for possession at the ruck.

The flanker – whose identical twin brother Ben has also been in the England squad but is currently out of favour – has loads more in his armoury than just winning turnovers, including a decent running game. For now, and maybe for the next few years, Underhill and Tom Curry look set to battle it out over the Red Rose seven shirt. UM

Ellis Genge – 22, three caps

The Bristol-raised Leicester man is an incredibly powerful ball-carrier with good hands and footwork, and a decent feel for the game.

He’s still third choice at loose-head for England, but Joe Marler’s suspension for the Argentina game sees him on the bench on Saturday, and he might have made the replacements anyway, such has been his form for Leicester.

He’s only 22 but so young are some of the England squad that he said during the week he sometimes feels old! I’m excited to see his potential against quality opposition this autumn. UM

Harry Williams – 26, two caps

The Exeter prop is a bit of a late bloomer and is positively ancient compared to the others in this list in age, but not necessarily in terms of experience.

Williams, a rumbustious on-field presence, has a wonderful opportunity to stake his claim over the next month to be Dan Cole’s understudy, with Kyle Sinckler suspended.

Plucked by Exeter boss Rob Baxter from the Championship a couple of years ago, Williams has an attitude to the game and work ethic that Eddie Jones loves. CJ

Nick Isiekwe – 19, one cap

Eddie Jones clearly rates the teenage second row, picking him to go on tour to Argentina after he had only made his Premiership debut in April. That also shows Jones’ faith in Saracens’ ability to produce top-quality talent.

Like his club-mate Maro Itoje, Isiekwe is big and physical – 6ft 6in and 17st 8lb – and a decent line-out operator, but he’s a ball-handler too and contributes all round the park.

With England’s strength in depth at lock, he will have to bide his time behind Itoje, Courtney Lawes, George Kruis and Joe Launchbury and he will not feature on Saturday, but he has a very bright future. UM

Marcus Smith – age 18, no caps

The excitement around fly-half Smith’s emergence is reminiscent of the clamour about a certain Jonny Wilkinson 20 years ago, with luminaries such as former New Zealand and Harlequins 10 Nick Evans talking up the 18-year-old.

Injuries at Harlequins this season have given him an opportunity and he has seized it with both hands, turning in man-of-the-match performances for the Londoners.

Eddie Jones has given him an “apprentice” tag – an acknowledgement that Smith has a long way to go, and he is not involved on Saturday. Yet those who know and coach Smith say his approach to the game is similar to that of George Ford and Owen Farrell – the heartbeats of the current England side. CJ

And a wildcard from Ugo

Keep an eye out for young Wasps flanker Jack Willis. The 20-year-old is not in the wider England squad but has made some big impacts off the bench as Wasps have started to turn their season around.

England’s youngest debutants in the pro era

Two of England’s youngest handful of debutants in the professional era are in the current England squad.

Heading the list for England’s youngest debutants since 1995 is one Jonny Wilkinson – will any of the current crop come anywhere near to matching his achievements in an England shirt?

Source: bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/41928138


Watch Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming 2017 Online 4th November To 30 Test

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Watch Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming 2017 Online 4th November To 30 Test

Watch Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming Online 2017 Game Start From Saturday 4th November 2017 Online.Welcome to Watch Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming 2017 match live stream online on your pc/laptop. Do not wait to access this HD link, when the game is mostly over and you will get live scores and highlights. All the matches are being streaming here; just catch the game from your desktop or laptop Internet. So, Catch the Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming online broadcast on Sky Sports,BBC Sport,ESPN, RTE Channel nine,Fox Sports,. Click here to watch live Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming below this link.



Tuesday 14th November 2017

France New Zealand France v New Zealand Parc OL, Lyon Kick off: 6:30pm

Saturday 18th November 2017

Italy Argentina Italy v Argentina Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence Kick off: 2:00pm
France South Africa France v South Africa Stade de France, Paris Kick off: 7:45pm

For information about Autumn International rugby tickets, and where to purchase them, please read our guide here: How to Buy Autumn International Rugby Tickets.

The 2017 end of year rugby tests, also known as the 2017 Autumn internationals in the Northern Hemisphere, will be a series of international rugby union matches predominantly played between the visiting Southern Hemisphere countries; Argentina, Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa, South Africa, Tonga – and the European sides; England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales.

In 2017, a record 37 fully test matches will take place, with a record 20 test matches including a tier 2 side, 6 of which being a tier 1 v tier 2 fixture, as the IRB builds up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Georgia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Tunisia, United States and Uruguay will all be in action, with the three Pacific Island teams and Japan once again facing tier one level opposition. Wales and France will play host to Tonga, Italy will host Fiji, Ireland will host Samoa and Scotland will host Japan. Japan will also play host to New Zealand in Tokyo, to become New Zealand’s first tier 2 opponent since the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Australia will attempt their first Grand Slam tour of the Home Nations since 2009 following their 2-1 defeat to the British and Irish Lions in June 2017, as well as playing Italy in Turin for the first time.New Zealand will play England, Ireland and France, the fourth time the two nations as met in 2017, while South Africa will play Wales, Scotland and France. Argentina will again only play three tests, playing Wales, Italy and England, the third time the two nations has met in 2017.

In addition, the November schedule will see historic first-ever visits by Pacific Island Unions Samoa and Tonga to Georgia and Romania, respectively, as well as Portugal visiting São Paulo to take on Brazil for a first-ever Test match between the two sides. Russia will play Japan and the United States at a neutral venue in the United Kingdom and Georgia will host both Canada and the United States. Portugal will host Fiji for just their second meeting, as well as playing Canada in Lisbon, where as Spain will tour South America, visiting Uruguay and Chile, before returning home to play Japan – and with Japan’s non-test match against Gloucester, and other test matches, November 2017 becomes Japan’s busiest November international window, as they prepare to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Three invitational teams will also play an international nation, Barbarians facing Fiji, the French Barbarians facing Samoa, and the Māori All Blacks team touring North America visiting Canada and the United States.

Ahead of the International tests, two Preliminary matches took place. Both Chile and Uruguay played an domestic Argentine club which acted as warm-up ahead of theier vist from Spain. These matches also actes as friendly’s for the clubs before their respective domestic league that starts in November.

Like in recent seasons, New Zealand and Australia played the third and final Bledisloe Cup test match for the year, which New Zealand won 41-33.

To Watch Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming Online 2017 live stream online click on the links on this page for your membership where you’ll get access to Autumn International Rugby live in high quality live streaming video. Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming Rugby Union, Catch Every moment of Autumn International Rugby Union on web broadcast TV. Watch interview,highlights,Live score,result,Match Preview. Don’t miss any other match to enjoy.Join Now and enjoy Live telecast of Autumn International Rugby Live Streaming 2017 TV on your PC.Live Stream Autumn International Rugby.


Oceania 7s FEVER

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Oceania 7s FEVER

The Papua New Guinea men and women’s sevens rugby teams are on a mission at the Oceania Rugby 7s Championship that gets underway at the ANZ Stadium, Suva on Friday.

PNG men’s sevens coach, Douglas Guise said they are aiming to reach the Cup semi-final.

“We’re ready to work hard during the pool stages as it would mean making it easier for us to reach the semi-final,” he said.

“We are really here to qualify again for Hong Kong and the World Sevens Series as well. Also we want to make it to the Sevens World Cup in San Francisco next year.

We are looking at getting out of the pool stages then we will see what to do next from there.”

Guise said last year they lost to Samoa in the semi-final and they’re looking at improving their game.



The Australian men’s rugby sevens team are looking forward to maintain their unbeaten run against the Fiji Airways 7s team at this weekend’s Oceania 7s.

Australia 7s manager Jarred Hodges said they have been training hard since July in preparation for the 2017/18 World Sevens Series.

“The Oceania 7s is our final hit-out before the series begins and is a really important part of our preparation,” he said.

The Australians have beaten Fiji (40-7) in the Oktoberfest 7s final in Munich Germany, (19-17) Central Coast 7s tournament final and (29-0) in the Silicon Valley 7s tournament in USA.

Hodges said the Oceania 7s has all the world top teams playing in it and they need to be respected.

“We’re looking forward to our two pool games against Tonga and Solomon Islands and hopefully progressing on to the knockout stages from there.”



The women’s 7s Cup final will be the last match of the Oceania Rugby 7s Championship which starts this Friday and culminates on Saturday.

This was confirmed to SUNsports yesterday by Oceania Rugby Competitions manager Wayne Schuster.

“Our focus this year and our partnership and collaboration with UN women and the Fijian Government is focussed on growing the game and focussed more of our women to participate. That is a very important part of it,” Schuster said.

“We are excited about playing the women’s final for the last match in the competition. We have to provide an equal platform and put our women in the spotlight,” he added.

Source: https://fijisun.com.fj/2017/11/06/oceania-7s-fever/#comments

Tom Connor headed to Oceania Sevens Championships

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Tom Connor headed to Oceania Sevens Championships

THE Australian men’s sevens squad for the Oceania Sevens Championship has been named, including Shoalhaven product Tom Connor – with eight uncapped players to get their first capped opportunity for Australia when the tournament kicks-off on Friday, November 10.

Connor, who recently represented the Barbarians against the Classic Wallabies team while also currently playing for the Sydney Rays in the National Rugby Championship, will look to add to his one cap at the championships.

Fresh after the Aussie Sevens victory at the Silicon Valley Sevens, head coach Andy Friend has opted to give an opportunity to some of the younger players in the squad, to ensure more game time for all players heading into the start of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai on December 2.

Australia’s victory in the US is now the third tournament in a row that Australia has won.

Assistant Coach, Jarred Hodges will coach the side in Fiji.

“Such is the global nature of Rugby Sevens we have had commitments in America with the Silicon Valley Sevens and the Oceania Sevens in Suva, Fiji,” Australian men’s sevens head coach Andy Friend said.

“With eight guys to get their first cap for Australia, it gives our squad another opportunity to demonstrate the inroads we have been making across our entire squad following on from our success at the Central Coast Sevens.

“It is a massive year for our game and these guys know that we are still looking to secure some tier one contracts to enhance our squad.”

Australia has been placed in Pool C with Tonga and the Solomon Islands and the matches will be streamed live across Oceania Rugby’s digital channels.

“There is some really exciting talent in this group and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do on the park this weekend, in what will be a very challenging competition,” Australian assistant coach Jarred Hodges said.

“Tonga and the Solomon Islands will offer very different styles of Rugby and across the other pools we know that Fiji at home will be very tough as well as New Zealand.”

Australian men’s sevens fixtures:

Friday, November 10

Australia vs Solomon Islands, 2pm AEDT

Australia vs Tonga, 5pm AEDT

Squad: Jeral Skelton, Henry Clunies-Ross, Sam Croke, Brandon Quinn, Matthew Hood, Matthew McTaggart (c), Dylan Pietsch, Tom Connor, Brodie Leber, Daniel Martine, Nicholas Price and Lachlan Miller.

Source: http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/story/5039391/connor-headed-to-oceania-sevens-championships/

Oceania 7s: Australia teams arrive today

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Oceania 7s: Australia teams arrive today

Update: 3:31PM TWO players from the Inaugural Aon University Sevens Series, Lauren Brown (Griffith University) and Page McGregor (Macquarie University) to be given their first Caps for Australia.

This was after they were named in the Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Squad for the Oceania Sevens Championship.

Head Coach Tim Walsh has named his strongest possible squad as Australia looks to defend its Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship title, as the team continues to build towards the HSBC Sevens World Series kicking off in Dubai.

The side will arrive with the men’s side today at 6:50pm.

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Fixtures, Oceania Sevens: Friday 11 November

Australia v Tonga, 10.00am AEDT

Australia v Samoa, 1.00pm AEDT

Australia v Fiji, 4.00pm AEDT

Source: http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=422909

Rugby League World Cup: Fiji 72-6 Wales

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Rugby League World Cup: Fiji 72-6 Wales
Rugby League World Cup
Fiji (42) 72
Tries: Vunakece, Vunivalu 3, Raiwalui, Kikau 2, Faingaa, Milne 2, Montoya, Hayne, Nakubuwai, Lovodua Goals: Koroisau 4, Milne 3, Vunivalu
Wales (6) 6
Try: Knowles Goal: Davies

Wales’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the World Cup were ended by a 14-try mauling by superb Fiji.

The Pacific Islanders inflicted a record tournament defeat on Wales, scoring eight tries before half-time.

Wales’ only score came in the 10th minute, when St Helens forward Morgan Knowles crossed on his 21st birthday.

Fiji play Italy next as they look to seal top spot in Group D, while John Kear’s team face Ireland as they bid to save face after two heavy defeats.

The margin of the loss surpassed the 50-6 defeat by Papua New Guinea last week, which was Wales’ previous heaviest World Cup defeat.

Wales had no answer to the pace, power and ball-playing skills of Fiji, with Suliasi Vunivalu scoring a hat-trick of tries and 10 different players claiming touchdowns.

The Welsh players travel to Perth for their final match against Ireland, who lost 14-6 against Papua New Guinea.

They will be hoping to win a first match at the World Cup since 2000.

Wales coach John Kear: “Quality told, they were comprehensively better than us. If people play like that against you who are that big and skilful, you’re in bother. And we were in bother.

“The Welsh fans will be disappointed, but they’re not half as disappointed as the players and coaches are because there’s been a lot of work gone in this week and you feel like you’ve been kicked in the rocks to tell you the truth.”

Fiji: Kevin Naiqama (capt), Suliasi Vunivalu, Taane Milne, Akuila Uate, Marcelo Montoya, Jarryd Hayne, Henry Raiwalui, Ashton Sims, Apisai Koroisau, Eloni Vunakece, Viliame Kikau, Salesi Faingaa, Tui Kamikamica, Joe Lovodua, Jacob Saifiti, Junior Roqica, Ben Nakubuwai.

Wales: Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Michael Channing, Christiaan Roets, Regan Grace, Courtney Davies, Danny Ansell, Craig Kopczak (capt), Steve Parry, Philip Joseph, Rhodri Lloyd, Joe Burke, Morgan Knowles, Matty Fozard, Matthew Barron, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant.

Referee: Chris Kendall (England).

Source:  bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/41869889

Fiji vs Wales LIVE stream: How to watch Rugby League World Cup on TV and online

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Fiji vs Wales LIVE stream: How to watch Rugby League World Cup on TV and online

FIJI face Wales in the Rugby League World Cup this morning and here is how you can stay on top of the live action.

Wales could make wholesale changes to their side after their opening 50-6 defeat to Papua New Guinea.

John Kear has been stepping up training sessions to ensure his side don’t suffer a repeat performance.

After a woeful display at Port Moresby, Wales have been training at the hottest time of the day to help them adapt to the conditions.

But Fiji will go into the game as strong favourites after their 58-12 win in their opening game against the US.

They were rampant in that victory, running in 11 tries.

A Wales win would keep their faint hopes alive of facing England in the quarterfinal.

Yet their World Cup troubles are marked by the fact they have not won a game in this tournament since 2000.

How can I watch Fiji vs Wales?

The match kicks off at 8.30am.

If you are unable to watch the match on TV, you can stream the game online on the BBC iPlayer or on the BBC Sport website.

iPlayer requests viewers to confirm they are a TV licence subscriber and may ask you to log in to your BBC account.

The BBC Sport app, available to download for free across Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices, will also carry the live coverage and text commentary.

Fiji: Kevin Naiqama (capt), Suliasi Vunivalu, Taane Milne, Akuila Uate, Marcelo Montoya, Jarryd Hayne, Henry Raiwalui, Ashton Sims, Apisai Koroisau, Eloni Vunakece, Viliame Kikau, Brayden Wiliame, Tui Kamikamica, Joe Lovodua, Jacob Saifiti, Junior Roqica, Ben Nakubuwai, James Storer, Pio Seci, Salesi Faingaa, Sitiveni Moceidreke.

Wales: Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Michael Channing, Christiaan Roests, Regan Grace, Courtney Davies, Danny Ansell, Craig Kopczak (capt), Steve Parry, Philip Joseph, Rhodri Lloyd, Joe Burke, Morgan Knowles, Matty Fozard, Matthew Barron, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant, Josh Ralph, Ben Morris, Gavin Bennion, Andrew Gay.

Referee: Chris Kendall (England)


Rugby League World Cup 2017: Scotland 4-50 Tonga

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Rugby League World Cup 2017: Scotland 4-50 Tonga
Scotland (0) 4
Try: Addy
Tonga (38) 50
Tries: Jennings 3, Taumalolo, Manu, Tupou 2, Terepo, Hingano
Goals: Taukeiaho 6, Hingano

Scotland suffered a heavy loss to Tonga in their opening Group B match at the World Cup in Cairns, Australia.

Hull Kingston Rovers’ Danny Addy scored the Scots’ only try but at that point they trailed 38-0 and the Tongans went on to score two more tries.

Despite Steve McCormack’s Bravehearts being ranked fourth in the world, they were outplayed by a team featuring Andrew Fifita and Jason Taumalolo.

Scotland next play New Zealand in Christchurch on Saturday.

They will complete their group matches against Samoa a week later, back at Barlow Park in Cairns.

Three of the four teams in Scotland’s group progress to the quarter-finals, but the sobering result at the hands of Tonga – 11th in the rankings – threatens a longer run for McCormack’s men in their fourth consecutive World Cup finals.

Scotland’s lofty ranking, thanks to their impressive 2016 Four Nations performance, always looked out of kilter after the loss of key players Ryan Brierley, Peter Wallace, Kane Linnett and Lachlan Coote to injury, and against a Tonga team benefiting from defections from two powerful forwards.

Fifita was originally named in the Australia squad but withdrew to pledge his allegiance to Tonga, while Taumalolo rejected New Zealand to join Kristian Woolf’s squad.

Taumalolo scored one of his team’s seven first-half tries, with Michael Jennings, who played seven Tests for Australia, scoring a hat-trick and Sika Manu, Daniel Tupou and Peni Terepo also crossing.

Taumalolo’s try in the 17th minute, as he forced his way through the Scottish defence, made it 12-0 and he used his power to devastating effect at the next set with a run that set up Jennings to score his second try.

Scotland defended well after the break and registered their first points just after the hour when Addy went over but Tupou and Ata Hingano both crossed late on as Tonga finished strongly.

“We were nowhere near good enough,” said McCormack afterwards. “There’s some damaged pride. But we’ll lick our wounds, patch ourselves up and get ready to go next week.

“I’ve got a fantastic bunch of players who are full of resilience and I can’t wait for next week.”

Captain Danny Brough, setting a new Scottish record with his 24th cap, added: “They came down the middle with strong and powerful running. In the World Cup you can’t give a team as much respect as we did.

“We know they are great players individually and they proved it tonight collectively. But I don’t think we showed up and proved how good we are, and that’s the most disappointing thing.

“We will be better next week. I don’t think we can be much worse than that.”

Coach Woolf, when asked if Tonga could win the World Cup, responded: “It’s a difficult question. Scotland are not going to be a real challenger in the World Cup judging by tonight’s performance.

“But the level goes up next week [against Samoa, who lost 38-8 to New Zealand on Saturday] and we will find out about ourselves then.”

Scotland: K Bentley, Brough, Kavanagh, Russell, Ferguson, Douglas, Hellewell, Tierney, Addy, Mariano, Oakes, Bell, Stein.

Interchanges: J Walker, Phillips, Brooks, A Bentley.

Tonga: Vatuvei, Taukeiaho, Lolohea, Fifita, Tupou, Hopoate, Hurrell, Havili, Jennings, Ma’u, Taumalolo, Manu, Hingano.

Interchanges: Katoa, Terepo, Murdoch-Masila, Moa.

You can follow the fortunes of your favourite team with live match notifications sent straight to your phone or tablet via the BBC Sport app. Line-up, kick-off, score, half-time and full-time options are available for all teams participating at the World Cup.

Source : BBC