September 17, 2015 / 5:57 PM / 4 years ago

Fiji target chinks in England's armour

LONDON (Reuters) - Fiji have identified weaknesses in the England team which they intend to exploit in the World Cup’s opening match at Twickenham on Friday.

The Pacific Islanders’ coach John McKee admits that the tournament hosts have a strong team but he believes Fiji can expose some frailties in the Pool A game.

“We have had a good look at England over a number of competitions now and we recognise that they are a very good side across the board and they have got a number of strengths,” McKee told reporters on Thursday.

“Maybe there are some chinks in their armour which we will keep for ourselves. Maybe we will keep that up our sleeves and see if things come off for us tomorrow.”

McKee believes that England might struggle to cope with the pressure of being heavy favourites to get their campaign off to a winning start.

“The real pressure is on England and, for us, it’s everything to gain through our performance,” he said.

“It’s good for us to be out of the limelight but I don’t think any of these teams will under-estimate us.”

McKee acknowledged that replacements would play a big part in the game.

“With the intensity of test match rugby, it’s really important that you use your bench well,” he said.

“We really require our bench players to have an impact on the game. Things happen in a game, but in the second half you can expect to see our reserve players coming into the game to make an impact.”

McKee said his players had unique qualities which they would try to utilise.

“We have got a lot of strong players, very quick players, but they are also very powerful, good ball handlers,” he said.

“We need to play to those strengths in our game but also, in international rugby, around the set piece, having a good field position and a kicking game are essential parts of the game.”

Fiji captain Akapusi Qera is relishing the atmosphere at Twickenham and the privilege of playing straight after the tournament’s opening ceremony.

“We have been talking about that from the start,” he said.

“The boys are aware of what an iconic stadium it is. It’s an honour for us to be starting the tournament in this stadium tomorrow.”

Reporting by Ed Osmond; editing by Toby Davis

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