Australia and Fiji will face off in each team’s 2019 Rugby World Cup opener on Saturday at the Sapporo Dome in Sapporo, Japan.
In the United States, the match will start early Saturday morning/late Friday night (12:45 a.m. ET/9:45 p.m. PT) and will be televised on NBC Sports Network. If you don’t have cable, here’s how to watch a live stream of Australia vs Fiji in the US:
NBC Sports Network is one of the 95-plus live TV channels included in the main FuboTV bundle, which is largely tailored towards sports.
You can start a free seven-day trial of FuboTV right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Australia vs Fiji on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or other supported device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch live, FuboTV comes with 30 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as a 72-hour look-back feature, which will allow you to watch the match on-demand within three days of its conclusion, even if you don’t record it.
NBC Sports Network is one of 60-plus live TV channels included with Hulu With Live TV, which also comes with Hulu’s huge on-demand streaming TV and movie library.
You can sign up for Hulu with Live TV right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Australia vs Fiji on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, Hulu With Live TV comes with 50 hours of cloud DVR space, as well as the option to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of space and the ability to fast-forward through commercials.
NBC Sports Network is included in Sling TV’s “Sling Blue” bundle, which comes with 40-plus live TV channels.
You can start a free seven-day trial of Sling TV right here, and you can then watch a live stream of Australia vs Fiji on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, cloud DVR is available as an add-on.
Australia vs Fiji Preview
The Wallabies are in search of their third World Cup title and their second since 2007.
Head coach Michael Cheika elected to start the experienced flanker combination of captain Michael Hooper and David Pocock in the squad’s tournament debut.
Hooper and Pocock have started together 24 times. The decision sends blindside flanker Lukhan Salakaia-Loto — who hasn’t missed a minute of Australian test action this year — to the bench.
“For the first game of the World Cup, I went for a little bit more experience, to be honest,” Cheika said, according to The Guardian. “They’ve done this before, the two boys playing together. We’ve worked on the possibility of this kind of combination for the last couple of weeks and they’ve been working well together.”
Wallabies replacement back Matt To’omua said his side will have to limit Fiji’s one-on-one opportunities.
“You have got guys like [Semi] Radradra on the wing, [Josua] Tuisova as well. These guys are powerful men but can also step you as well — a dual or triple threat,” To’omua said, according to the Rugby World Cup website. “We have got to hunt in packs — it is probably our best chance at eliminating their opportunities. Any time you get one of them one-on-one you might be struggling a little bit.”
He added: “Individual names wise, they are very strong in the backline but even [Leone] Nakarawa in the second row who I have come up against in Europe is a phenomenal player. One of the best in the world in my opinion.”
These sides met at the World Cup four years ago, when Australia dealt the Flying Fijians a 28-13 defeat.
Their prior World Cup meeting was even more lopsided: a 55-12 Wallabies victory in 2007. Fiji matched their best finish at a World Cup that year, reaching the quarter-finals.
“We know Australia are a very good team and present a big challenge for us but, because of our preparation, I know our team is mentally and physically ready for that challenge,” Fiji head coach John McKee said, per the Rugby World Cup website.
Pocock to Retire
Earlier this month, the 31-year-old Pocock announced he’d retire from test rugby at the conclusion of the World Cup.
“I feel like it’s time to move onto other things and contribute in other areas,” he said, according to The Associated Press.
He added: “On a personal note you reflect on the time you’ve had in a Wallabies jersey, what you’ve tried to add, the legacy you hope you’ll leave and then just the opportunity to play in front of family and friends one last time.”