2019 Rugby World Cup
Australia vs Wales
29 September 2019
Tokyo Stadium, Chofu
On Sunday, 29 September in Tokyo, Australia and Wales will meet up in a much anticipated match that will most likely determine who claims top spot in Pool D
Wales had temporarily held top-spot in the World Rugby rankings weeks before kick-off at the Rugby World Cup
earlier this month in Japan.
The Welsh team became Grand-Slam champions this year by winning the Six Nations and defeating all five their opponents, in doing so they positioned themselves for potentially a very successful 2019.
On the other hand Australia had a very topsy-turvy build-up to the tournament by following a dominant display and victory over the All Blacks with a humiliating 36-0 defeat to the same opponents the week after.
The two teams have faced-off on 42 previous occasions, with the Wallabies winning 30, Wales 11 and the teams drawing one of those matches. Interestingly, since 2008 Australia had won 13 games in a row before losing 9-6 to Wales in a tightly contested match in Cardiff last year.
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Wales had stuttered a bit in preparation for the World Cup, losing most of their warm-up matches, but the team looked impressive against Georgia in their opening match at the World Cup and remain favourites to top the pool.
In contrast, Fiji pushed the Wallabies in their opening match which forced the team to rely on set-pieces to pull-away from the Pacific Islanders and ultimately outlast them to secure a 39-21 victory after trailling at half-time.
With focus now on the most important game for both teams in the group stage, Australian defensive coach Nathan Grey has exclaimed how tight the encounter is going to be:
"There's been a long history of close games between the two countries. Those contests are very tight and it just shows the quality of both teams and that you have to take those opportunities when they're presented".