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Fiji coach John McKee: England will face a tougher Australia team

Fiji head coach John McKee believes England will face a vastly improved Australia side to the one they beat last November in next week's World Cup collision at Twickenham.

England overpowered Australia to win 26-17 last autumn with Stuart Lancaster's side particularly dominant at scrum-time.

But McKee feels Australia have stepped up since then, even if the Wallabies failed to match England's achievement of a bonus-point victory over Fiji in their 28-13 win against the Pacific Islanders at Cardiff on Wednesday, and will be a formidable barrier to England's World Cup ambitions on October 3.

"I see two quite different styles of games and it will be very interesting," McKee said on a contest set to have a huge bearing on who progresses from Pool A with Wales also in the mix for one of the two qualifying spots on offer.

"England certainly had the wood on them last November and dominated that game, but from I what saw of the Wallabies against us they're a much-improved side than they were then."

Fiji are almost certainly out of the World Cup after losing their opening two games but they can take huge credit after testing both England and Australia throughout.

"We want to be competitive at the top level and we've just got to keep chipping away and working at it," McKee said.

"We want to get to the situation when we come up north to play England and Wales and we're on an equal footing and we don't know who's going to win the game.

"Our aim is that it's not like tier one versus tier two.

"These things don't happen overnight but I think we're heading in the right direction."

Fiji's next World Cup outing is against Wales in Cardiff on October 1 when they will be without wing Waisea Nayacalevu, who suffered knee-ligament damage in the early moments of the Australia game.


From Belfast Telegraph