England and Fiji braced for fresh encounter
November 5, 2012
England's Jonny Wilkinson cops a high shot in the last time the pair met © PA Photos
Saturday's match between England and Fiji will be the first time the teams have come face-to-face since 1999.
It is the fifth official Test between the two sides with England currently unbeaten against the Pacific Islanders. Their first Test meeting was back in June 1988 where England prevailed 25-12 in Suva with a brace from Rory Underwood and a further score from Bryan Barley enough to get them over the line against 14-man Fiji who had Mosese Taga sent-off.
Their most recent match came during the 1999 Rugby World Cup and it was a similar story for England who ran out four-try victors against the Islanders. Fiji pushed them close on the try-scoring stakes with three of their own but the boot of Jonny Wilkinson - who slotted seven penalties and a conversion - was enough to give the home team a 45-24 victory.
While the record books show four official Test meetings between the two countries, Fiji have played a further three Tests against an England XV side with the Rugby Football Union not recognising the matches as capped internationals. The England XV won on all three occasions triumphing in Suva in 1973 and 1979 and also at Twickenham in 1982.
England v Fiji
All-time record: Played: 4, England won 4, Fiji won 0
Biggest winning margin: Eng: 35 (England 58-23 Fiji, November 4, 1989) ; Fiji: 0
Most tries: Eng: 10 (58-23, 1989); Fiji: 4 (58-23, 1989)
Most tries (individual): Eng: 8 Rory Underwood; Fiji: 1 (14 players)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"I had a couple of injuries before but this was different." Tom Hamilton talks to Scott Williams about the O'Driscoll tackle, Wales and Scarlets
"To be the best it's not about the flash stuff, it's actually about everything done at a very high level." Tom Hamilton on the England squad
Huw Richards rewinds to 1864 to mark the birth of Welsh rugby's first authentic star - Arthur Gould
Michael Cheika has succeeded in becoming the Wallabies coach under his own terms, writes Greg Growden