Injuries continue to mount for Wales, but self-belief remains high
With England left licking their wounds as they prepare for this weekend’s do-or die encounter with the Wallabies, Warren Gatland’s patched-up side have barely had time to catch their breath after last Saturday’s titanic tussle at Twickenham.
The Wales head coach has opted to stick with what is essentially a winning side for Thursday’s clash with Fiji as the Principality look to build on the momentum and confidence garnered from that victory against the English.
Wales do make three enforced changes after that bruising encounter but otherwise it’s as you were.
Matthew Morgan comes in for his first Wales start at full-back in place of the concussed Liam Williams, with Tyler Morgan replacing Scott Williams at outside centre and Alex Cuthbert coming in for Hallom Amos, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.
There are no changes up front, despite the set-piece wobbles against England, with back row pair Toby Faletau and Dan Lydiate in line for their 50th caps alongside captain Sam Warburton.
On the bench, James Hook brings a wealth of experience after being drafted into squad earlier this week.Fiji famously defeated the Welsh in the 2007 World Cup and have proved dangerous opposition ever since, no more so than when claiming a draw in Cardiff back in 2010.
After causing both England and Australia problems they will be fired up for this one, knowing it is their last chance to claim a big scalp before their final pool match against Uruguay.
Coach John McKee makes six changes from the side which lost to Australia. Hulking winger and goal-kicker Nemani Nadolo is out after being banned for a dangerous tackle in that 28-13 defeat, while another of their other star performers, Bath scrum-half Nikola Matawalu, is not fit enough to start.
Right wing Waisea Nayacalevu also misses out through injury but his loss is off-set by the inclusion of Montpellier’s Timoci Nagusa.
Wales cannot guarantee their place in the knockout stages with victory here but a bonus-point win would all but secure a top-two finish in Pool A and with it safe passage through to the last eight.
After their heroics at Twickenham it’s hard to see the wily Gatland blow it now, especially in front of a fervent home support at the Millennium Stadium. Fiji, as they did against both England and Australia, won’t make it easy but Wales’ superior conditioning should kick in after the break.
Wales are available on the two-way handicap (-18) at 7/5 but for those searching for a bit more value the 19/5 about a home victory by 16-20 points looks tempting.
The match kicks off at 4.45pm on Thursday, October 1st at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.