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Flying Fijian fans ready for RWC

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Flying Fijian fans await the Australia gameFlying Fijian fans await the Australia gameTHE 2019 Rugby World Cup fever has hit Fijians in Vancouver and around the world.

And tonight, when the Flying Fijians take on the mighty Australian Wallabies in their opening Pool D match,Fijians in Vancouver will be hunkered down to root for their former countrymen.

While the action aplenty will be at the Sapporo Dome in Japan, the fans will be glued to the live TV feed in homes, social clubs and sports bars to watch the game.

Admired Flying Fijian fan, Shafeel Sahib who embraced the sport in 1987 and followed it closely since the 1991 World Cup is upbeat about the team causing an upset.

The Delta, BC, resident says he will watch the game from the comfort of his home with a few friends.

“People have preferences”, he said.

“It has been the same gig every four years, stay home and enjoy the game”.

Shafeel says unlike previous RWC, Fiji has assembled a good team for 2019 RWC.

“The best arsenal to their armoury”.

He said with Leone Nakarawa who was named the 2018 European Player of the Year, Viliame Mata voted as Players’ Player of the Year (2019) with the Edinburgh Rugby, former NRL, Semi Radradra and Josua Tuisova, Fiji will give Australia a good game.

“Fiji have been preparing for two months to combat the unique threat of Australia, with the battle at the breakdown key in what is liable to be a relentlessly fast-paced game under the roof in Sapporo”.

“The Australians are aware of the fire power they will be up against.

"You have got guys like (Semi) Radradra on the wing, (Josua) Tuisova as well. These guys are powerful men”.

Fiji coach John McKee and his assistant Tabai Matson have emphasised that their scrum has improved considerably in the four years since the two teams last met. Dominant tight-five displays against Japan and Tonga this year will have caught the Wallabies' attention.

Fiji have not beaten Australia in 65 years and face a World Cup points deficit of 83-25 over their two matches to date: a 28-13 defeat four years ago and a 55-12 hammering in 2007.

But the Pacific Islanders are likely to need all that new-found nous and a bit more if they are to turn back the tides of history.

McKee said the side was the best available to take on the Wallabies, with the winner of the clash set to put themselves in the box seat for a quarter-final spot.

"We know Australia are a very good team and present a big challenge for us but, because of our preparation, I know our team is mentally and physically ready for that challenge," said McKee.

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