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Fiji on a mission to stun England and silence Twickenham

Fiji have prepared for the atmosphere at Twickenham in Friday's World Cup opener by training to the sound of England fans in full voice.

The islanders enter the Pool A showdown intent on causing a seismic upset, knowing the eyes of the rugby world will be upon them and coach John McKee has taken every step in ensuring his players will be ready for the occasion.

"We had a little bit of a strategy earlier in the campaign in Fiji - we had a PA system playing crowd noise and the sounds from Twickenham," McKee said.

"That was part of our preparation. It was the normal crowd noise from Twickenham that was taken off some of the footage.

"It was good in those sessions we did it, it affected the intensity of the training. It's hard to hear calls and the communication in the game."

Fiji will wear their traditional white strip and occupy the home dressing room at Twickenham, forcing England to switch to their red change kit and fill the role of away team. The allocations were made following a coin toss between the managers last year.

"There probably was a time that it would have made a big difference but now in this era it doesn't matter," McKee said.

"It's interesting for us that we'll be in the England changing room, although it probably won't look like the England changing room on Friday night."

McKee insists Fiji, who have spent an unprecedented two and a half months together in their summer training camp, are fuelled by the belief held outside the camp that they are capable of springing only one upset in Pool A.

"It would be a big story to tell if we beat England, but this pool's not just about one game on Friday, all the games are important," McKee said.

"The players are aware of the perception that we have only one big result to deliver and it's a motivator for them.

"I believe we do have an advantage over a lot of our opposition in that our players are really proud to represent their country.

"They're not coming back to Fiji and representing Fiji for monetary gain because it would be a lot easier to stay at their clubs and represent their professional clubs.

"We work on team building and team unity, but I think it comes for us a lot more naturally than perhaps it does for a lot of other teams."


From Belfast Telegraph