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  • Date: Saturday October 15, 16:00 BST
  • Location: Stade de Marseille, Marsielle, France
  • Teams: England vs Fiji

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England to take on Fiji in World Cup quarter-final

Steve Borthwick’s England take on one of the surprise packages of the World Cup in Fiji when the two nations collide in the quarter-finals in Marseille There should be no danger of England under-estimating their opponents, having suffered a shock defeat to the Fijians at Twickenham in a warm-up match in August..


England have recovered from a disastrous build-up to the tournament to progress steadily through the pool stages. There have been positive signs from Borthwick’s side, however, their laboured win over Samoa highlights many of the weaknesses that they need to address if they are to be genuine contenders for the trophy. 

Powerful teams who are capable of moving the ball quickly are able to cause this England side problems. Worryingly for England it was not only the Samoa game that showed this, but the friendly defeat to Fiji less than two months ago.

England must keep things tight and use their set-pieces. They also need to find a way to get the best out of George Ford with Owen Farrell in the side. It is thought that Ford, who’s kicking has been outstanding this tournament, might stay at fly-half with Farrell playing at centre. There is also a debate as to whether Freddie Steward comes of the wing, either to return to full-back or go to the bench, to allow the exciting Henry Arundell, scorer of five tries against Chile, to come into the side.


Fiji qualified for the quarter-finals at the expense of Australia, which, even given the difficult build up the Wallabies had endured, a major surprise. Their win over England at Twickenham will give them the belief that they can cause another upset.

Fiji’s main players include Levani Botia who has played in the last three Champions Cup finals and Josua Tuisova who has played in an Olympic final. Most of Fiji’s squad are playing in a high level of club rugby, with many of their squad playing for top European teams and most of the others are getting experience of the game at a high level in the Southern Hemisphere, with the Fijian Drua’s participation in Super Rugby. They have played some great rugby during the pool stages, though their defeat to Portugal in their final match was disappointing. Fiji did, however, make six changes for the Portugal game, so they will no doubt revert to their first choice line-up, fitness permitting, having rested a few key men.


Fiji must be taken seriously, however, if England can play to their strengths by keeping things tight, using their forwards and capitalising on the quality of their kicking game then they should be able to get past Fiji. We predict an England win, but it is unlikely to be easy.

At the time of writing, bet365 are offering 1/3 for an England win, with a Fiji victory 13/5 and a draw 22/1.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise