Fiji have mental edge over Wales - Seru Rabeni

Seru Rabeni takes on Wales in 2007
Seru Rabeni scored a try as Fiji knocked Wales out of the 2007 Rugby World Cup with a 38-34 win in Nantes

Fiji centre Seru Rabeni believes they will have a psychological edge over Wales when they meet at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

The 32-year-old was one of Fiji's try-scorers when they sent Wales out of the 2007 tournament in France.

Three years later Fiji drew 16-16 in Cardiff and Rabeni helped the Barbarians win there on 4 June.

"We'd like to say mentally now we have an edge and we know that on our day we can beat Wales," said Rabeni.

"And we'll take that on board and I think having a good preparation will help that as well."

Fiji are preparing for the Pacific Nations Cup in which they face Tonga, Japan and another of Wales' World Cup rivals, Samoa - a nation who also have a reputation for upsetting Wales at World Cups.

However, Rabeni believes Wales have greater strength in depth to call on than in 2007 when they reached the quarter finals despite being outscored five tries to four in their 38-34 win in Nantes.

The La Rochelle centre highlighted "big lump" Jonathan Davies, his centre partner against the Baa-Baas Gavin Henson and Jamie Roberts as midfield threats.

Rabeni, who has also played for Otago, Leicester and Leeds, said: "The big lump in the centre [Davies] - if he's in the camp and trains better for this period of time, I know he'll be a hit in New Zealand.

"I know Jamie Roberts is a very big man and I think the Wales team will come in with a point to prove because they want to do the same to us as we did to them [in 2007].

"They have some young, good boys coming through and they'll be putting pressure on the big names - the coach will be having a good headache to select who is going to be his best team.

"But talking from the other side it'll be bad that they've got so many players. But looking at it from our side, hopefully we can come up trumps when we face them."

Rabeni says despite a performance the player himself found disappointing, Henson remains a potent threat and would prefer the player to concentrate on the sport rather than celebrity status off it.

"Henson - you didn't seen the best of him [against the Barbarians], but on his day he can do some damage.

"I know it was his first game after a while and I know he'll pick up from here and he'll want to prove the critics wrong and he'll want to prove the public wrong and he will be a big hit in New Zealand if he does make it there.

"And I hope he works out on the field because he looks good on the field, rather than off it."

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