Fiji Bati expecting toughest test yet from Azzurri

Fiji can seal their spot in the Rugby League World Cup knockout rounds with victory over Italy in Canberra this evening.

The Bati have chalked up big wins against the United States and Wales to sit comfortably atop Group D with one match to play.

The Italians were stunned by Ireland in their tournament opener before beating the USA to keep their faint hopes alive.

The Azzurri would need to replicate their 46-0 victory against the Hawks to overturn Fiji's sizable points difference of +112.

While that's unlikely, Bati coach Mick Potter is predicting a difficult match all the same.

"This is probably our toughest test I think - there's probably more NRL players in this one and ex-NRL players that are playing so it will be a tougher game I think, so it will be a good test for our group," he said.

Fiji have named an unchanged line-up for tonight's game although the Bati will have to contend with a Canberra return for Raiders legend Terry Campese, who's recovered from a calf injury to start his first match of the tournament at five eighth, opposite Jarryd Hayne.

"He's spent a little bit of time in Super League and he was a quality player when he was here (in Australia)," he said.

"What he has got is a really good passing game and a really good kicking game so we'll have to be ready for all things that come from his vision on the field."

"I expect them to play even better...their combinations will be a little bit better (after two games).

"I'm expecting them to be at their best and depending on where (James) Tedesco plays, whether it's five eighth or whether it's fullback if Campese's in that will give them another little string to their bow having Terry and he will direct them around really well."

Only the top qualifier in Group D will advance to the quarter finals and a match-up against either New Zealand or Tonga, who are both assured of a place in the final eight.

Fiji won't find out who their probably opponent is until after Saturday's Group B decider between the Kiwis and Mate Ma'a Tonga in Hamilton but Mick Potter said he was looking forward to the clash.

"That will be good to have just an extra day and just get ready for the next game so I will be intrigued to the game and how it unfolds between Tonga and New Zealand," said Potter.

"I hope it's a physical match - I think both teams like to play physical so I wouldn't expect anything less."



Photo: NRL Photos Jarryd Hayne has been pulling the strings for the Fiji Bati.