Rugby World Cup 2015: Fiji will target Wales says Wayne Pivac

Liam Williams is tackled by Nikola Matawalu at the Millennium Stadium in November 2014
Wales beat Fiji 17-13 in their last meeting in Cardiff in November 2014
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England and Wales Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC Radio Wales and in Welsh on BBC Radio Cymru, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website.

Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac expects Fiji to target Wales in the Rugby World Cup.

Warren Gatland's team face Fiji in their third match in Pool A on 1 October, five days after playing England at Twickenham.

Pivac coached Fiji between 2004 and 2007, but left before they knocked Wales out of the 2007 World Cup.

"Fiji played Wales in the autumn with not their strongest side and they showed enough [for Wales] to be concerned," said the New Zealander.

"And I think history will show that Fiji have gone well in the northern hemisphere in the past - 2007 springs to mind and in 2005 when I coached Fiji. Wales beat us by a drop-goal at the Millennium Stadium.

Fiji celebrate beating Wales at the 2007 World Cup
Fiji's defeat of Wales in the 2007 World Cup remains their only win over the Welsh

"I would think there will be certain games, knowing Fiji, that they will target and Wales will be one they will definitely target [to win] if they are good enough.

"I don't think they will be [good enough]. I think Wales will be too strong for Fiji and with the importance of the occasion I think Warren Gatland will have them pretty primed up for that game."

In addition to the matches against England and Fiji, Wales face Uruguay in their opening game in Cardiff on 20 September and Australia at Twickenham on 10 October.

Fiji's shock 38-34 win over Wales in Nantes ended Gareth Jenkins' reign as national coach and led to the appointment of Gatland.

Two years earlier, Pivac almost guided Fiji to a first victory over Wales when Nicky Robinson's drop-goal earned the Welsh an 11-10 win in Cardiff.

Wales' World Cup pool games
Sunday, 20 Sept, 14:30 BST: Wales v Uruguay, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 26 Sept, 20:00 BST: England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium
Thursday, 1 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Fiji, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 10 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Australia, Twickenham Stadium

Fiji also managed a 16-16 draw in Cardiff in 2010. Wales won a scrappy encounter 17-13 when the sides last met in Cardiff nine months ago.

The fact that Fiji's players are spread around the world and rarely get together as a full-strength squad will also count against the Pacific Islanders, according to Pivac.

"My experience was that it was very difficult, because they only get their top players together once in four years and that's just the way it is," he said.

"Preparation-wise they won't have the same time as the top nations or the nations that have the players available that play in their home countries, so it is a disadvantage.

"But it does mean that on paper they are a side that can cause an upset."

Fiji will come into the World Cup in form, after beating Samoa 39-29 in the final of the Pacific Islands Cup in July.

Top Stories