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Wales v Fiji key battles

Wales, beaten by Australia last week, will be hoping to bounce back instantly with victory over Fiji on Saturday in their final game before hosting world champions New Zealand.

Head coach Warren Gatland has made eight changes to his team, including starts for fly-half Rhys Priestland, hooker Scott Baldwin, flanker Justin Tipuric and prop Gethin Jenkins, who captains the side instead of a rested Sam Warburton.

Here Press Association Sport looks at three intriguing personal battles.

Rhys Priestland v Josh Matavesi

Priestland, who was booed by a small section of home supporters when he replaced an injured Dan Biggar against Australia, will wear Wales' number 10 shirt for the first time since March. He will line up opposite Cornwall-born Ospreys back Matavesi, who takes over from Jonetani Ralulu at fly-half. Like his opponent, Matavesi will be wanting to make the right impression before the teams face off again as pool stage rivals at the World Cup next year.

Jamie Roberts v Nemani Nadolo

Roberts will have to try to contend with Crusaders battering ram Nadolo in a heavyweight battle of two midfield giants. The Fiji centre, who weighs more than 19 stone, has scored 12 tries in 14 appearances for the Fijians and for the Crusaders has touched the ball down 59 times in 69 games. Roberts was outstanding last Saturday containing the Wallabies' attack, and his contest with Nadolo could be worth the Millennium Stadium entry fee alone.

Scott Williams v Vereniki Goneva

Williams returns to the Welsh starting line-up after recovering from hamstring problems, and he will be preparing for some big hits from Leicester's strong-running Goneva. The Scarlets man was part of the Wales side which crushed Fiji 66-0 at the 2011 World Cup, and he was Welsh rugby's form centre heading into the autumn Tests before injury struck. Expect big things from the Williams-Roberts midfield partnership.


From Belfast Telegraph