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Josh Adams

Josh Adams during training

Adams wary of Fijian challenge

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Everyone may be talking about the threat posed to Wales by the Fijian backs in Bordeaux, but don’t forget Josh Adams scored a hat-trick against them the last time the two nations met at the World Cup.

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The Cardiff Rugby wing ended up as the top try scorer with seven in Japan in 2019 and took the sting out of the flying Fijians with a brilliant hat-trick in Oita. That earned Warren Gatland’s side a 29-17 win and safe passage into the quarter-finals.

Fiji’s recent win over England at Twickenham rocketed them up to ninth in the world rankings, one place above Wales, and has led to many predicting a repeat of their 2007 heroics when the tournament was last staged in France.

That was in the final pool game when the south sea islanders sent the Welsh team crashing out of the competition after a 38-34 defeat. What happened 16 years ago may still be talked about in clubs and pubs in Wales, but Adams says the only thing the class of 23 have been doing is examining their win in Japan.

“There were a couple of clips we’ve watched from 2019, and after 60 minutes I think it was 17-17. You don’t blow them away early doors, they are competitive, and as a team we expect the same things time,” said Adams.

“They’ve got a lot better since we played them foiur years ago. Their game looks a lot more structured and this is probably the toughest Fiji team we have faced – anything below excellent might not be enough against this Fiji team, and we all understand that.

“That game in 2019 didn’t start too well for us – we were 12-0 down after about 15 minutes and had a yellow card as well. We’ve reiterated the point that none of us went off script, and none of us tried to do something magical on our own.

“What we had set out to do prior to the game, we still tried to implement. That’s what allowed us to get back into that game.”

That steadfast approach will be very much in evidence in Bordeaux. Gatland has picked his most experienced side and everyone is expecting his players to go at the Fijians, tie them down, frustrate them and force them into making errors.

With temperatures in the stadium likely to be close to the 30 degree mark, even with a 9.00pm kick off, it is going to be a test of resilience and fitness for both sides. The heat, though, isn’t something that is worrying the Welsh players.

“We’ve been in this sort of temperature for the past three months. We are pretty used to this heat. As a squad we are pretty well equipped for whatever the temperature will be,” added Adams.

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