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Adams and Navidi look ahead to physical Georgian challenge

International | 23rd September 2019

Josh Adams is prepared for a physical challenge as Wales take on Georgia in the opening encounter of their Rugby World Cup campaign.

Warren Gatland's side kick start their tournament against Lelos at Toyota City on Monday, with Adams named alongside regional team-mate Josh Navidi in the starting line-up, and Dillon Lewis and Tomos Williams featuring on the bench.

Australia got Pool D underway with a hard-fought bonus point win over Fiji on Saturday, and Wales have a six day turnaround before their encounter with the Wallabies in Tokyo on Sunday (KO 8.45am).

Wing Adams hopes his side's pre-tournament focus on fitness will give them an edge but admits they will have to front up physically to avoid an upset.

“They’re a physical side and they relish that physical battle," said the wing.

“They have a big set-piece, a big scrum, and I know they hang their hat on being one of the best scrummaging sides.

“Up front it will be a tough battle but we’ve spoken during the week about needing to take the game to them.

“We can’t show any weakness in the scrum, and make sure we challenge them at their own game.

“Behind, they have some physical ball carriers, and they’ve really shown that in the two previous warm-up games against Scotland, which we’ve looked at.

“They were very physical in those games so we’ll have to front up defensively and we know, with the way that we play, that opportunities will come.

“We’ve got work-rate and put a lot of hard work in over the last couple of months with our fitness in particular.

“Hopefully, towards the latter stages of the game, things will open up for us and we’ll be able to capitalise on that.”

Meanwhile, back row Navidi, who has been given the nod at number eight for Monday’s encounter, has returned to Japan, which was the setting for the first of his 19 caps to date back in 2013, he Cardiff Blues star admits that the rugby-crazy nation holds a special place in his heart.

"It’s quite special, I had my first under-20 World Cup here, won my first senior cap here, and now I’m out here for a Rugby World Cup," said Navidi.

"I was expecting everything from the Japanese people in terms of the warm welcome and how crazy they are about rugby.

"It’s nice to be back and it was a nice warm welcome from the locals as well."

The Cardiff Arms Park clubhouse is open for all of Wales' Rugby World Cup matches, with food on offer and welcome for everyone.