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Gareth Davies keen on 'another big day at the office'

By Online Editors
Gareth Davies sprints away for Wales in the pool stage. (Getty Images)

Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies has scored six tries in seven World Cup games – and he readily admits to relishing the sport’s biggest stage.


Davies will line up against Fiji in Oita on Wednesday with memories still fresh of his spectacular interception score that helped sink Australia 10 days ago.

And the Scarlets number nine’s impressive strike-rate makes him a key attacking weapon for the unbeaten Pool D leaders.

“I like to think my form away from the World Cup is pretty good, but it is a good stage to shine on,” he said.

“It is pretty special, it’s the best tournament in the world, the biggest stage to play on, and as players as soon as this one has finished we start looking forward to the next one.

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“We have been looking forward to this World Cup for a while, building towards it, and it is great that we have got off to a good start.”

Davies has developed a knack of claiming interception tries, with his blistering pace and clever positional play making him a constant threat to opposition defences.


“With Shaun Edwards (Wales defence specialist) we do a lot of work on our general line speed, and the whole team brings a lot of line speed,” Davies added.

“If I find myself in the right place at the right time, I like to think I am pretty quick and I get off the line pretty fast and sometimes the ball is there to take.

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“It is not on all the time, so I have got to pick my moment.

“Against Australia, I was lucky and picked the right moment for the try, but I can’t do it too much as I would expose too much space elsewhere.

“I have to be careful at times, but hopefully I can pick the right moments and make the right decisions and keep doing it.


”I might not get one (intercept) for another couple of games, but I will keep looking for them.”

Davies is edging towards 50 caps for his country, and also continues to reap the rewards of a hard summer’s training and Test match warm-up period prior to the World Cup.

“I had a quiet summer (away from rugby), to be honest. I didn’t do what I normally do, so there were no trips to (Las) Vegas or anything like that,” he said.

“I knew the training camps we had lined up in Switzerland and Turkey were going to be tough. I just kept my head down and when we came into camp the hard work really started.

“It was a really tough couple of months, but we are all feeling good and fit.

“We try to move other teams around as much as we can.

“We knew we had Georgia up first, and we knew they would be a big physical pack, so we wanted to play some rugby against them to try and tire the forwards out.

“We did that in first game and in the first half against Australia but not quite as much in the second half – but our defensive game was outstanding and that’s what got us the win.”

Wales have beaten Fiji in the last two World Cups, and another success would confirm a quarter-final place ahead of Sunday’s final group game against Uruguay.

“Some of the individuals they have got are outstanding,” Davies added. “We will have to keep a close eye on some of their backs.

“They have got some big physical ball players in the pack as well, so it is going to be a big day at the office for us.

“We know how the Fijians play, and we have to expect the unexpected against them.”

– PA

Wales know exactly what to expect from their clash with Fiji:

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finn 5 hours ago
Massive red flag raised by weakened Champions Cup teams – Andy Goode

I wonder if the problem of some teams not taking it that seriously would be helped by making performance in the champions cup count towards qualification and/or seeding in the following year’s competition. Eg. top four seeds would be winners of the URC, premiership, and top 14, plus best performing team in the previous year’s CC who have not otherwise qualified. Doing that the seedings for this years comp. would have been: Tier one: Saracens - Munster - Toulouse - la Rochelle Tier two: Sale - Stormers - Racing 92 - Leinster Tier three: Leicester - Connacht - Bordeaux - Exeter Tier four: Northampton - Ulster - Lyon - Sharks Tier five: Harlequins - Glasgow - Stade Francais - Edinburgh Tier six: Bath - Bulls - Toulon - Ospreys The competition would probably work better with fewer teams, so I’d probably favour only the first 4 tiers being invited, and then going straight to a quarter final without a round of 16. On the one hand this would possibly incentivise teams to take the champions cup seriously, and on the other it would mean that the latter stages would be more likely to involve teams that have demonstrated a willingness to take the competition seriously. The main differences between my proposed system and the actual draw is that mine would give la Rochelle a fairly easy ride to the quarters, and would either exclude the Bulls entirely or would give then an insurmountably difficult draw. As it happened Exeter got quite an easy pool draw but that was a bit of a fluke. My system would reward Exeter for being one of the teams that demonstrably devote a lot of attention to the CC by guaranteeing them a good draw.

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