A heartbreaking narrow defeat by Wales in last Sunday’s Bordeaux thriller set back Fiji’s ambitions of reaching the quarter-finals for only the second time, with victory in Saint-Etienne this weekend almost essential to any remaining hopes.
Eddie Jones oversaw the first win of his second Australia tenure as the Wallabies beat Georgia in their opening game in Pool C 24 hours earlier.
Any signs of encouragement after a torrid 2023 to date will be lost unless they can come through a big test against the Pacific Islanders.
Australia have not lost to Fiji since 1954 and know the criticism of their recent form will reach fever pitch if that run ends here.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Australia vs Fiji takes place today, Sunday September 17, 2023, with kick-off scheduled for 4:45pm BST.
The Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne will host the contest.
Where to watch Australia vs Fiji
TV channel: In the UK, Sunday’s game will be shown live and free to air on ITV1, with coverage starting at 4:15pm.
Live stream: The ITV website and ITVX app will also offer a free live stream service for fans online.
Australia vs Fiji team news
Aussie scrum-half Tate McDermott has been ruled out of this game due to concussion after an early exit against Georgia, with Nic White deputising at No9 once more.
Samu Kerevi is fine, though, after being taken off at half-time last weekend as a precaution to ensure he was fighting fit to face Fiji.
Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou has been battling a hamstring strain and doesn’t make it for the weekend as James Slipper returns to the front row.
Australia captain Will Skelton starts as usual, but may yet be withdrawn from the lineup as he prepares to undergo scans on a calf issue on Friday. Second-row Nick Frost is back from injury, as is replacement hooker Jordan Uelese.
For Fiji, Semi Radradra shifts out to the wing as Josua Tuisova comes in, while Jiuta Wainiqolo replaces Selestino Ravutaumada on the opposite flank and scrum-half Simione Kuruvoli is preferred to Frank Lomani.
In the pack, Levani Botia replaces Albert Tuisue at flanker.
Australia vs Fiji lineups
Australia XV: Donaldson; Nawaqanitawase, Petaia, Kerevi, Koroibete; Gordon, White; Bell, Porecki, Slipper; Frost, Skelton (c); Hooper, McReight, Valetini
Replacements: Uelese, Schoupp, Nonggorr, Arnold, Leota, Fines-Leleiwasa, Foketi, Vunivalu
Fiji XV: Droasese; Wainiqolo, Nayacalevu (c), Tuisova, Radradra; Tela, Kuruvoli; Mawi, Matavesi, Tagi; Nasilasila, Cirikidaveta; Tagitagivalu, Botia, Mata
Replacements: Ikanivere, Ravai, Doge, Mayanavanua, Tuisue, Lomani, Botitu, Habosi
Australia vs Fiji referee
Andrew Brace of Ireland takes charge of this one with Chris Busby and South African official Jaco Peyper as assistants. TMO is under the command of Brian MacNeice.
Australia vs Fiji prediction
It’s fair to say that a high proportion of the neutrals watching along on Sunday will be backing Fiji, who came within a whisker of beating Wales in a lively performance.
However, their kicking issues could hold them back with Australia gaining a touch of confidence after a first win of the year.
Australia to win, by under five points.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Fiji won twice on tours of Australia in the 1950s but have lost every game since a 3-3 draw in 1961. The most recent meeting came at the pool stage of the 2019 World Cup, when the Wallabies ran out 39-21 winners in Sapporo.
Australia wins: 19
Fiji wins: 2
Australia vs Fiji latest odds
Australia to win: 4/9
Fiji to win: 15/8
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).