Rugby World Cup: Australia vs Fiji lineups – minor tweaks ahead of pool-defining clash

Australia take on Fiji this weekend, in what may well be the clash of the Rugby World Cup so far. With the Wallabies struggling in 2023, and the Fijians coming along in leaps and bounds over recent years, can the Pacifika nation upset their big brothers and cause the first real boilover this tournament? We break down the Australia vs Fiji lineups, and look at who might star in this match ahead of kick off on Sunday.

Australia vs Fiji lineups
Photo by Icon Sport

Australia vs Fiji lineups and news

Australia enter this match off the back of their first win this year, putting away a solid Georgian team in their opening clash of the Rugby World Cup. Fiji, on the other hand, will be disappointed to have come up empty handed against Wales, falling one pass short of what would have been a brilliant comeback win last weekend against the Welsh. Here’s the Australia vs Fiji World Cup lineups are shaping up ahead of Sunday’s match:

Team news: Australia

Three changes for Australia after their win over Georgia, with former captain James Slipper coming into the starting lineup again. Nick Frost also slips into lock ahead of Rory Arnold, while a change in halfback sees Nic White a start instead of Tate McDermott this week. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa comes onto the bench also.

Australia lineup

15 – Ben Donaldson, 14 – Mark Nawaqanitawase, 13 – Jordan Petaia, 12 – Samu Kerevi, 11 – Marika Koroibete, 10 – Carter Gordon, 9 – Nic White, 8 – Rob Valetini, 7 – Fraser McReight, 6 – Tom Hooper, 5 – Will Skelton (c), 4 – Nick Frost, 3 – James Slipper, 2 – David Porecki, 1 – Angus Bell

Bench: 16 – Jordan Uelese, 17 – Blake Schoupp, 18 – Zane Nonggorr, 19 – Richie Arnold, 20 – Rob Leota, 21 – Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 22 – Lalakai Foketi, 23 – Suliasi Vunivalu

Team news: Fiji

Simon Raiwalui has made four changes to the side that fronted up against Wales last weekend. Levani Botia starts at No 7, pushing Lekima Tagitagivalu to the blindside and dropping Albert Tuisue to the bench. Simione Kuruvoli, Josua Tuisova and Selestino Ravutaumada come into the back line, with Semi Radradra switching wings too.

Fiji lineup

15 – Ilaisa Droasese, 14 – Jiuta Wainiqolo, 13 – Waisea Nayacalevu (c), 12 – Josua Tuisova, 11 – Semi Radradra, 10 – Teti Tela, 9 – Simione Kuruvoli, 8 – Viliame Mata, 7 – Levani Botia, 6 – Lekima Tagitagivalu, 5 – Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 4 – Isoa Nasilasila, 3 – Luke Tagi, 2 – Sam Matavesi, 1 – Eroni Mawi

Replacements: 16 – Tevita Ikanivere, 17 – Peni Ravai, 18 – Mesake Doge, 19 – Temo Mayanavanua, 20 – Albert Tuisue, 21 – Frank Lomani, 22 – Vilimoni Botitu, 23 – Vinaya Habosi

Will Taniela Tupou play today?

One familiar face is missing from the Australia vs Fiji lineups, and that’s Taniela “The Tongan Thor” Tupou. The big Australian prop will not be featuring in this match unfortunately, with a hamstring issue causing the No 1 to have the week off against Fiji, in yet another front row blow for the Wallabies. James Slippers replaces the 27-year-old instead.

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