RWC 2015: Fiji face Wales & England in World Cup Pool A

Fiji qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Fiji beat Cook Islands 108-6 to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Fiji thrashed Cook Islands 108-6 on Saturday to qualify for the same 2015 Rugby World Cup pool as Wales, hosts England and Australia.

They will play England at Twickenham in Pool A on Friday, 18 September next year in the tournament's opening game.

Wales face Fiji on Thursday, 1 October at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Fiji, who have now qualified for seven of the last eight World Cups, knocked Wales out of the 2007 tournament with a 38-34 victory.

Cook Islands had a 6-5 lead after 27 minutes in Churchill Park, Lautoka, but were then overwhelmed in the final Oceania qualifying region match as the hosts scored 17 tries, including 13 in the second half.

When Fiji reached 90 points, they inflicted on the world's 46th-ranked side their heaviest ever international defeat.

Fiji captain Akapusi Qera said: "It was a big game for us as a team and as a nation. It's a big thing for a rugby player growing up to qualify for the Rugby World Cup and that's what motivated us in the second half."

The fifth and final Pool A place at the 2015 tournament will be decided in a repechage, which is almost at the semi-final stage.

Russia are awaiting the outcome of the Africa Cup qualifying competition, which takes place from 28 June to 6 July and involves hosts Madagascar, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

Kenya beat Namibia 29-22 and Zimbabwe beat Madagascar 57-22 on the opening day of the round-robin tournament.

The African event winners will fill the last place in Pool B in 2015, taking on holders New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia.

Russia will face the runners-up of the African qualifiers in the repechage last four.

Hong Kong are scheduled to meet Uruguay in the other semi-final, but dates have yet to be confirmed for those qualifier knockout games.


Fiji: Metuisela Talebula; Waisea Nayacalevu, Asaeli Tikoirotuma, Nemani Nadolo, Watisoni Vuto; Jonetani Ralulu, Nemia Kenatale; Campese Ma'afu, .Sunia Koto, Manasa Saulo, .Api Ratuniyarawa, Api Naikatani, Domoniko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera, Malakai Ravulo.

Replacements: Bill Veikoso, Jerry Yanuyanutawa, Leroy Atalifo, Rupeni Nasiga, Leone Nakarawa, Nikola Matawalu, Adriu Delai, Timoci Nagusa.

Cook Islands: Chay Raui; James Iopu-Johnston, Joel Rapana, James Raea, Ioane Ionae; Sam Vaevae, Dan Deveraux; AJ Campbell, Francis Smith, Stan Wright (capt), Bon Maui, Simon Marcel, Kima Iosua, Steve Setephano, Nick Connal.

Replacements: Jacob Marsters, Chris Iosua, Matt Mullany, Iro Teariki, Mark Ioane, Andrew Putairi, Reece Joyce, Louis Makuere.

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand).

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