“It would give us a great boost if we are able to get a win but we have taken the view that we are in a series of four games and the top two teams go through. It doesn’t ride on one game. There could be a lot of twists and turns in the pool.”
Yet Australia’s replacement back, Matt To’omua, is wary that Fiji will be far from pushovers despite managing just one win at both of the last two World Cups.
Australia are unbeaten in their last 17 games against Fiji, winning 16 and drawing one, and have not lost to the Flying Fijians since June 1954, but To’omua is not taking them lightly.
He said: ”You have got guys like [Semi] Radradra on the wing, [Josua] Tuisova as well. These guys are powerful men but can also step you as well – a dual or triple threat.
“We have got to hunt in packs – it is probably our best chance at eliminating their opportunities. Any time you get one of them one-on-one you might be struggling a little bit.
“Individual names wise, they are very strong in the backline but even [Leone] Nakarawa in the second-row who I have come up against in Europe is a phenomenal player. One of the best in the world in my opinion.”
Australia: Beale; Hodge, O’Connor, Kerevi, Koroibete; Lealiifano, White; Sio, Latu, Alaalatoa, Rodda, Arnold, Pocock, Hooper (c), Naisarani.
Replacements: Uelese, Slipper, Kepu, Coleman, Salakaia-Loto, Genia, To’omua, Haylett-Petty.
Fiji: Murimurivalu; Tuisova, Nayacalevu, Botia, Radradra; Volavola, Lomani; Ma’afu, Matavesi, Ravai, Cavubati, Nakarawa, Waqaniburotu (c), Yato, Mata.
Replacements: Vugakoto, Mawi, Saulo, Ratuva, Voka, Matawalu, Veitokani, Goneva.