England will finally get their Rugby World Cup campaign started on Friday night at Twickenham when they take on Fiji, knowing it’s a must-win before they take on Wales and Australia in the Pool A. Read here our ENGLAND v FIJI betting preview with tips, predictions, best odds, starting XVs, free bets and no deposit bonuses!
ENGLAND v FIJI BETTING PREVIEW England finished as runners up to Ireland in this year's Six Nations, winning 4 of 5 matches with a defeat to Ireland in Dublin being the one slip. In their preparation matches in recent time the Three Lions defeated France at Twickenham (19-14) before losing 25-20 to Les Bleus in Paris. Last time our they defeated Ireland 21-13 at Twickenham. Since the 31-28 defeat suffered at the hands of South Africa in November 2014, England have won all seven of their home international clashes.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster has named an unchanged side from the one which defeated Ireland. As a result, George Ford has beaten off competition from Owen Farrell for the number 10 jersey, Tom Wood at blindside flanker ahead of James Haskell while Geoff Parling has been preferred to Joe Launchbury at lock.
Fiji are ranked ninth in the world and enter this game in good form. They were impressive in the recent Pacific Nations Cup, beating Japan (27-22), Samoa (39-29) and Tonga (30-22) and drawing a second meeting with Samoa (30-30). They are without Top 14 star Napolioni Nalaga, but the team still boasts the considerable talents of Bath-bound scrum-half Niko Matawalu and Bordeaux-Begles full-back Metuisela Talebula, as well as skipper Akapusi Qera.
Matawalu has recovered from the groin injury sustained against Canada 10 days ago to take his place at scrum-half while 6ft 5in goalkicking wing Nadolo continues in the No11 jersey.
Bath’s Niko Matawalu will start at scrum half, while much will be expected of Leicester’s Niki Goneva at outside centre. Ben Volavola has been preferred ahead of Josh Matavesi at fly-half, with the latter named on the bench.
In their history, Fiji have never managed to beat England in their previous five attempts, with England’s most recent victory coming in November 2012 at Twickenham (54-12). Only two host countries have lost their opener- England to New Zealand in 1991 and France to Argentina in 2007.
ENGLAND v FIJI STARTING XVs
England: 15-Mike Brown, 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Brad Barritt, 11-Jonny May, 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs; 8-Ben Morgan, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 6-Tom Wood, 5-Geoff Parling, 4-Courtney Lawes, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Tom Youngs, 1-Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16-Rob Webber, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Kieran Brookes, 19-Joe Launchbury, 20-Billy Vunipola, 21-Richard Wigglesworth, 22-Owen Farrell, 23-Sam Burgess.
Fiji: 1. Campese Ma’afu, 2. Sunia Koto, 3. Manasa Saulo, 4. Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, 5. Leone Nakarawa, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 7. Akapusi Qera (Captain), 8. Sakiusa Masi Matadigo, 9. Nikola Matawalu, 10. Ben Volavola, 11. Nemani Nadolo, 12. Gabiriele Lovobalavu, 13. Vereniki Goneva, 14. Waisea Nayacalevu, 15. Metuisela Talebula
Replacements: 16. Tuapati Talemaitoga, 17. Peni Ravai, 18. Isei Colati, 19. Tevita Cavubati, 20. Peceli Yato, 21. Nemia Kenatale, 22. Joshua Matavesi, 23. Aseli Tikoirotuma
ENGLAND v FIJI BEST ODDS
|ENGLAND|| 4.00 with||Bet £10, win £40.00|
|THE DRAW|| 71.00 with||Bet £10, win £710.00|
|FIJI||26.00 with||Bet £10, win £260.00|
- England @ 4.00
- England to win by 21-25 points @ 7.50
- Sam Burgess anytime goalscorer @ 3.25
- England to score the first try @ 4.00
Crazy odds - 3/1 England to score the first try
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