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From Gareth Griffiths
BBC Sport Wales in Otsu
Defence trainer Shaun Edwards says he will be”incredibly disappointed” if Wales don’t at least emulate their 2011 World Cup semi-final place.
Four days after hammering Australia and Georgia Wales face Fiji on 9.
Wins in these two group matches and Wales will be taken by a success against the Pool C runners-up to a semi-final – Edwards’ target that is minimum.
“If we do not win our next three, then I will be unbelievably disappointed,” he said.
“If you do win your next three, then you are in exactly the semi-finals and we’re right back to where we had been in 2011.”
Wales will clinch eligibility if they defeat Fiji at Oita while Argentina, England and France are currently contesting Pool C.
It will be Fiji’s final group game at a topsy-turvy tournament suffered a shock loss to Uruguay and attested their dangers with an emphatic 45-6 win over Georgia on Thursday.
That functionality particularly impressed Edwards.
“They’re outstanding,” he explained. “The very first phase goes, they seem exceptionally well organized and well trained.
“Everybody knows about their X-factor that Fiji teams have always had, but now they also have good organisation.
“A number of their fool plays line-outs and newcomer performs from scrums, together with the athletes they have, are extremely tricky to shield against.
“They’re one of those groups you do not wish to break structure too far against.
“We’re under no illusions about what they’ll bring. Their set-piece is extremely good also. I believed their scrum in the match against Georgia was fantastic.”
Edwards states Wales hope to possess fly-half Dan Biggar accessible after he failed a head injury evaluation having left the area against Australia.
“He’s back in practice,” confirmed Edwards.
“He is tough as old boots and an incredible player and it would have to be a critical harm to keep him off the practice pitch”
Rhys Patchell who made a written kicking performance in the 29-25 success replaced biggar.
Edwards impressed defensively with the Scarlets fly-half involved in a contentious episode when he attempted to tackle Australia center Samu Kerevi.
The Wallabies rear was nominated to get a forearm in tackler Patchell’s surface, a decision Australia captain Michael Hooper contested with runner Romain Poite.
Patchell’s method too poor was explained by hooper, but Edwards reported the Wales player had been asked to adapt.
“Rhys did exactly what we asked .” said Edwards.
“He asked him to tackle higher than what he has been tackling, to move in and make the crash and he did this.
“This [remark ] is up to Michael Hooper. He is entitled to his own opinion as is everyone else on the planet.”
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All selector pictures via Huw Evans Images.
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