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Roberts set for Fiji test

Jamie Roberts believes Wales will encounter a confident Fiji team in Sunday's World Cup Pool D clash at Waikato Stadium.

Results in the group so far suggest otherwise, with Fiji having been beaten comprehensively by South Africa and Samoa, while Wales toppled Samoa and went within a point of holding the Springboks - but Fiji have won, drawn and lost by a point in their last three meetings with Wales.

Wales centre Roberts said: "Fiji will take a lot of confidence going into this game on Sunday because the last couple of times we have met them they have matched or beaten us. We are all aware of that."

He added: "Four years ago I was in a student bar somewhere in Cardiff watching Wales lose to Fiji at the World Cup. It was crazy, a massive disappointment."

Roberts' return is one of seven changes made by coach Warren Gatland from the side that claimed a record 81-7 World Cup win against Namibia in New Plymouth last Monday.

And the Cardiff Blues powerhouse will have a new midfield partner in 20-year-old Scarlets prospect Scott Williams, who marked his first Wales start by scoring three tries when Namibia were routed.

"You can't take anything away from what Scott did on his first start," Roberts added. "He played a fantastic game against Namibia.

"Scott has a lot of maturity with his passing and his skill. He's quite quiet in his approach, but he goes about his work very well. Hopefully, he is going to thrive.

"I can't think of anywhere better really for someone 20 years of age to be playing, at a World Cup in a pool match against Fiji that could take us into the quarter-finals."

Wales, who can only be denied a last-eight place if they suffer a heavy defeat against Fiji, are likely to meet Ireland at the quarter-final stage next Saturday.


From Belfast Telegraph