“We’ve got to be physical, we’ve got to take some bruises tomorrow, and hopefully dish them out if we can. Everyone is talking about this Fiji team, and rightly so because I was at Twickenham a couple of weeks ago and they were mightily impressive.
“We’ve got to expect lightning bolts from this team – line-breaks, off-loads, how they pick through the breakdown. We’ve got to be really alert, and alive around our defence in every area,” said Forshaw on the eve of the big match.
“We’re expecting that kind of arm-wrestle and we know we have got to stay in the game physically and mentally. We’re going to take lightning bolts at some point, but it is about really focusing on ourselves.”
“They have developed as a nation. Rugby is what keeps them together, a little bit like Wales, really. That’s what makes it a fascinating game. We are really excited around the challenge of it.”
Australia and Georgia met in the opening game in Pool C in Paris and now all eyes turn to Stade de Bordeaux. Gatland has given World Cup debuts to five players in the starting XV and has another five potential debutants on the bench.
To counterbalance that, George North will be lining up at his fourth tournament and making his 17th appearance, while half backs Gareth Davies and Dan Biggar, as well as No 8 Taulupe Faletau. prop Tomas Francis and full back Liam Williams, will be playing at their third.
One of those World Cup debutants will be Saracens centre Nick Tompkins, who joins North in the midfield. They will be charged with shutting down the two Fijian dangermen and catalysts, Semi Radradra and skipper Waisea Nayacalevu.
“To even be in the squad for the World Cup was really magical. To get picked in the team now, I’m just so excited for the game to come,” said Tompkins.
“I will lean on George’s experience – it’s invaluable. We will be making sure we’re solving problems together.
“Semi has played for Bristol and been outstanding. You just watch the magic he can do.
“I won’t say I’m intimidated by it, you’ve just got to be prepared for it. You have got to stop the off-load, you have got to expect physical ball-carriers and you have got to front up.”
That’s exactly what Forshaw wants to hear and then see from his players in Bordeaux. This game has been 16 weeks in the making at various training camps and now the time has come to put all that hard work to good use.
“Fiji have developed as a nation – rugby is what keeps them together, a little bit like Wales, really. That’s what makes it a fascinating game and we’re really excited around the challenge of it,” added Forshaw.