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England v Fiji: talking points ahead of kick-off at Twickenham

By Duncan Bech

Published 18/09/2015

Fiji's Nikola Matawalu passes away during the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham. David Davies/PA Wire.
Fiji's Nikola Matawalu passes away during the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham. David Davies/PA Wire.
Leone Nakarawa of Fiji is tackled by Mako Vunipola and Sam Burgess of England during their Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham. Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images.
England's flanker Tom Wood (C) beats Fiji players to the ball in a line-out in the Rugby World Cup. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS.
Fans enjoy the atmosphere while watching England's Rugby World Cup match against Fiji at the opening night of the Fullers Clubhouse in London. Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for Fullers
Scrum-half Ben Youngs is tackled by Fiji's winger Waisea Nayacalevu during the England-Fiji clash at the Rugby World Cup. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS.
Fiji's and England's players in a scrum in their Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS.
Fiji fans in traditional watch their team's clash against England in the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham. Steven Paston/PA Wire.
England's fullback Mike Brown (up) falls over England's scrum-half Ben Youngs in the Rugby World Cup clash against England. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS
Fiji's fly-half Ben Volavola takes a drop kick during the Pool A match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup against England. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL.
England's fullback Mike Brown (L) celebrates after scoring a try during a Pool A match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between England and Fiji at Twickenham. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL.
Nemani Nadolo of Fiji scores a try under pressure from Anthony Watson of England during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between England and Fiji at Twickenham. Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
England's winger Jonny May (L) reacts as England is awarded a penalty try during their Rugby World Cup match against Fiji at Twickenham. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS.
Fiji's winger Nemani Nadolo (L) and England's winger Anthony Watson vie for the ball during their Rugby World Cup clash . AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS.
Waisea Nayacalevu of Fiji evades a tackle by Ben Morgan of England during their Rugby World Cup Pool match at Twickenham. Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Fiji's Ben Volavola fumbles the ball resulting in a knock on during the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.
Ben Youngs (L) and George Ford of England tackle Waisea Nayacalevu of Fiji during their 2015 Rugby World Cup match. Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Samoa's players perform the Siva Tau ahead of their World Cup clash against England at Twickenham. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS.
England's players line up while Samoa's perform the Siva Tau prior to their Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE.
England enter the pitch ahead of their Rugby World Cup Pool match against Fiji. Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
England and Fiji observe the national anthem ahead of their Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
England head coach Stuart Lancaster ahead of the match against Fiji at Twickenham. Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Fiji players huddle together prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool against England at Twickenham. Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images
England fans take a photo with a man in Fijian dress before England's opener. Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
English rugby fans wait for the opening ceremony of the 2015 Rugby World Cup FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
England fans in full team colours and painted faces wait in the sunshine for the first match of the Rugby World Cup 2015, with England facing Fiji at Twickenham Stadium in London on September 18, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEALLEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
An England supporter shows his support ahead of the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium, London.
An England fan waits outside a pub in Twickenham before the Rugby World Cup match at Twickenham Stadium, London.
England's head coach Stuart Lancaster (C) leads a training session at Twickenham Stadium, south west London, on September 17 FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
Tom Wood is held by Anthony Watson during an England training session
Ben Youngs passes the ball during a training session. David Rogers/Getty Images
England fans will be enjoying the atmosphere as their campaign kicks off
A giant rugby ball on the walls of Cardiff Castle to mark the start of the Rugby World Cup. Benjamin Wright/PA Wire
Mayor of London Boris Johnson (left) with England Rugby World Cup winner Jason Leonard before a practice rugby match with students at the Haverstock School in Camden, London. John Stillwell/PA Wire.
Waisake Naholo of the All Blacks during a New Zealand All Blacks gym session. Phil Walter/Getty Images.
Scotland's winger Sean Lamont poses after Scotland's official welcoming ceremony at the Gloucester Cathedral LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images.
Japan's full-back Ayumu Goromaru (L) attends a team training session at Brighton College in Brighton AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE.
Wales fullback Liam Williams in action during the Wales kickers practice at Millennium Stadium on September 18, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales.
Italy's prop Martin Castrogiovanni (L) and flanker Samuela Vunisa (C) pose before entering a cryotherapy chamber at the University of Surrey in Guildford.
Australia's fly-half Bernard Foley (R) attends a team training session at the University of Bath.
One of a selection of eight stamps which have been launched to mark the start of the Rugby World Cup 2015. Royal Mail/PA Wire.
Workers set up the structure for a giant rugby ball on the pitch of the Twickenham Stadium, west London ahead of the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup.
Italy's flanker Mauro Bergamasco poses after a press conference.
Joe Tomone (R) sits with his team mates during the Rugby World Cup 2015 Australia Welcome Ceremony.
One of a selection of eight stamps which have been launched to mark the start of the Rugby World Cup 2015. Royal Mail/PA Wire.
Captain Chris Robshaw of England passes the ball during the England Captain's Run on the eve of the opening Rugby World Cup 2015 match against Fiji at Twickenham Stadium on September 17, 2015 in London. David Rogers/Getty Images.
Rugby World Cup 2015 ambassador Jonah Lomu alongside 100 volunteers including the Ngati Ranana London Maori Club, perform the Ka Mate haka in Covent Garden, London. Tom McGovern/Handout/PA Wire.

England open the 2015 World Cup against Fiji at Twickenham on Friday evening. We examine some of the game's talking points.

FORM LINE

Four successive runners-up finishes in the RBS 6 Nations are evidence of an England team that has yet to scale the heights and mixed fortunes in the warm-up games against France and Ireland have added to the uncertainty. Fiji will offer a good gauge of the team's health.

PRESSURE COOKER TWICKENHAM

Stuart Lancaster and his coaching team have made all the right noises about England being ready to embrace he expectation that comes with being tournament hosts. A tight match against Fiji will speak volumes about their temperament on the big occasion.

FIJI'S SET PIECE

England have stated their gameplan extends far beyond targeting Fiji's scrum, but they know that even after months of drilling by head coach John McKee the set piece remains a weakness to be exploited. The Red Rose will demand forward dominance.

FIJIAN MAGICIANS

Scrum-half Niko Matawalu, Nemani Nadolo and Niki Goneva are Fiji's main threats and if England allow the game to become loose and fragmented, it will suit the Islanders' devastating backs.

REPRECUSSIONS FOR WALES AND AUSTRALIA

Events at Twickenham will make important viewing for England's Pool A rivals Wales and Australia, who will be analysing the hosts' weaknesses as they plot their route out of the toughest group in World Cup history.

 






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