WALES’ forwards coach, Jonathan Humphreys, is gearing up for a crucial showdown against Fiji in their World Cup opener in Bordeaux this Sunday. Despite facing setbacks in the scrum and line-out during their three warm-up matches, Humphreys exudes confidence in his team’s preparedness.
Humphreys emphasised the extensive 16-week preparation leading up to this pivotal match, stating, “We’ve tried lots of combinations and different things, but we are well aware this is the judgement time for us.” He outlined his expectations for the forwards, seeking relentlessness and precision both on and off the field.
“We’re in a good spot,” Humphreys declared, acknowledging the hard work put in by the players. “Even with all the warm-up games, it has always been in our minds of the coaching staff about where we need to get to. Everybody is a bit on edge but in a good way. It’s been a long time getting here.”
Humphreys recognised Fiji’s transformation, particularly in the set-piece, an area previously considered a vulnerability. He commented on Fiji’s impressive performances, highlighting their newfound strength in the set-piece, saying, “I think Fiji have performed really well… The set-piece is a strength of theirs at the moment. We are aware of what’s coming, we know hopefully what they are about, and we have prepared for it.”
Having observed Fiji’s resilience firsthand in their victory over England at Twickenham during their final World Cup warm-up match, Humphreys is well aware of the challenges his team will face. “They’ve got some incredibly powerful runners who are tough to stop. Physically they’re in incredible shape, and they’re going to be a tough challenge for us,” he remarked.