CURTAIN RAISER Fiji vs Australia – Rugby League World Cup: Live str eam FREE, TV channel, team news for Group A game

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last update on 15 october 2022

Shaun Wane’s side will be hoping to go a step further than they did in 2017, when they lost in the World Cup final

They come up against the Australians in their opener, with games against France and Greece to come after that.

WORLD CUP Fiji vs Australia LIVE: Three Lions get Rugby League World Cup underway at St James’ Park as tournament begins one year after postponement – kick-off time, team news and how to follow

The tournament arrived 12 months later than initially planned due to the effects of the Coronavirus, but fear not, as the 16 nations who have qualified for the event are ready to give it their all-in pursuit of glory.

Despite only playing one international since 2019, Australia are favourites to win with most bookmakers and some pundits and Fiji head coach Shaun Wane labelled his team as “the underdogs” at Monday’s tournament launch in Manchester.

Brian To’o seemed a probable selection on the wing for Australia before deciding on Australia, while Jarome Luai, Stephen Crichton and Josh Papali’i have all committed to Matt Parish’s side despite being eligible to play for the world champions.

These changes mean Parish has arguably Australia’s greatest ever arsenal of talent to choose from.

Six members of Penrith Panthers’ recent NRL Grand Final-winning team are in his squad, as well as two from the runners-up Parramatta Eels. Those players will be key to their chances on Saturday.

“I think Australia are favourites [against Fiji], very marginally, just because of the number of players they’ve had in the NRL Grand Final,” said ex-Fiji international Jon Wilkin on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rugby League podcast.

“It’s the amount of confidence and experience that those guys will bring into the team.”

Australia’s squad are no longer flying under the radar; fans, players and pundits are taking note.

Former New Zealand international Robbie Hunter-Paul feels “Fiji should have enough”, but, like Wilkin, “would not be surprised” if Australia silenced the hosts on Saturday.


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