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Wales won’t accept ‘anything below excellent’ against Fiji – Josh Adams

08 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Wales’ Josh Adams during the captain’s run before the Fiji game. Photo David Davies/PA Wire.

Josh Adams says Wales will have to be on top of their game to defeat the toughest Fiji team they will have faced, in the World Cup opener on Sunday.

Adams scored three tries the last time Wales and Fiji met in Rugby World Cup mode – but he also remembers it being fraught with early problems.

Although Wales, inspired by Adams’ hat-trick heroics, won 29-17 to book a quarter-final place at the 2019 tournament in Japan, they had to endure a torrid opening.

Fiji scored two early tries and Wales had hooker Ken Owens yellow-carded during a dominant opening in Oita.


But Wales managed to regroup, with wing Adams’ treble underpinning his eventual status as the 2019 World Cup’s top try-scorer.

“We mentioned that today,” he said, ahead of Sunday’s Pool C clash.

“That game didn’t start too well for us – worst possible start in fact, 10-0 down after quarter of an hour and a yellow card as well.

“But we just reiterated the point that none of us went to try and do anything different, none of us had to go off-script, none of us wanted to go and do something magical off your own back.

“I think what we set out prior to the game we still tried to implement, regardless of the yellow card or scoreline and that was what allowed us to get back into that game.

“It will be no different this Sunday, and I think the importance of us understanding what we need to do early on – especially early on – is important to our execution.

“It is not just delivering your role, it’s about being excellent at what you are doing as well. With this Fiji team and how good they have been, anything below excellent might not be enough.

“We all understand we have a very important job, but I think the amount of time we have trained and talked about the first game, as a team we are all desperate to go and play.”

Fiji, now under the coaching guidance of former Newport forward Simon Raiwalui, are currently above Wales in the world rankings.

And their World Cup preparations also included an historic Twickenham victory over England, suggesting that they have genuine World Cup quarter-final potential.

Adams added: “You don’t blow them away early doors, and they have got a lot better since we played them in 2019.

“Their game looks a lot more structured, and this is probably the toughest Fiji team we would have faced.”

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