Lancaster classes Fiji as pool threat

Date published: August 4 2015

England head coach Stuart Lancaster has joined the applause being directed at Fiji following their Pacific Nations Cup final win against Samoa.

Warren Gatland also found time to praise Fiji after Monday's victory and now Lancaster has joined him, despite having not yet watched the game.

"A big thing we have been watching has been the Pacific Nations Cup. I haven't seen the game yet from last night, but I understand that Fiji beat Samoa in the final. We've had a good look at Fiji in the past couple of weeks," the head coach told England Rugby's official website.

"The 30-all draw against Samoa [earlier in the competition] was an impressive performance and they've now gone on to beat them. It isn't just two teams in our pool that are a threat, I can tell you.

"You watch these games from the Pacific Nations Cup and [you realise] this is an extremely tough pool. We knew that at the time when it was drawn but now it is boiling down to it, it is going to come down to the wire."

With Fiji having impressed, the focus now switches to fellow pool rivals Wales and Australia, who play Ireland and New Zealand respectively on Saturday.

"There are some fascinating games to come, especially this weekend with Australia-New Zealand. We've obviously been keeping one eye on it and have been doing our analysis," added Lancaster.

"When we beat them in November I thought they were excellent and that it was a very good win for us. They gave us a really hard time in defence.

"If you add on the quality players that are now fit and available for them, he's had longer to work with them and they're concentrating on set-piece. They've got stronger as a team and have a high calibre of player across the board."