Rugby League World Cup semi-final: Australia v Fiji preview

Last updated: 22nd November 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Petero Civoniceva  Fiji Ireland

Petero Civoniceva: Fiji captain will once again go up against his former nation at Wembley

Greg Inglis Australia 2012

Greg Inglis: Will deputise for the injured Billy Slater at full-back in Saturday's semi-final

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Australia will be looking to move one step closer to regaining their Rugby League World Cup crown when they take on Fiji in Saturday's semi-final at Wembley.

It has been five years since the Kangaroos were stunned by New Zealand in Brisbane and now they are just 80 minutes away from reaching a 13th final.

Australia bring an incredible record to Wembley having gone three matches without conceding a try against the likes of Ireland, Fiji and the United States in reaching the final four.

The last man to cross the whitewash and score a try against Tim Sheens' men was England's Josh Charnley in their World Cup opener at Cardiff last month.

When Australia met Fiji in the group stage, the nine-time winners of the competition ran out 34-2 victors at St Helens' Langtree Park, a win that clinched their quarter-final place.

One of the fascinating match-ups in the contest sees Australia's Jarryd Hayne, who represented Fiji in the '08 World Cup, once again going up against his former team-mates.

Deputise

Hayne plays full-back for the Parramatta Eels but Greg Inglis has got the nod from Sheens to deputise for the injured Billy Slater, meaning Hayne remains at centre.

Hayne, along with Brett Morris, scored four tries apiece in Australia's 62-0 rout of the United States in last Saturday's quarter-final.

Slater will definitely play no part at Wembley after injuring his knee against the USA and team medics are working around the clock for the Melbourne ace to be fit for the final if they make it there.

The match also sees the career one of rugby league's modern-day greats come full circle. Petero Civoniceva holds the record for the most Kangaroo caps as a forward.

The durable 37-year-old, who began his career in 1997, has reinvented himself as captain of Fiji and is also set to line up against his former team-mate having tentatively retired in 2012.