All you need to know ahead of...

Australia v Fiji

David Pocock and Michael Hooper will combine in the back row for the first time this year when two-time champion Australia opens its Rugby World Cup campaign against Fiji on Saturday.

Pocock has missed most of the season because of injury but returned in a warm-up match against Samoa and did enough to earn his place in the back row at the expense of Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, shifting to the blindside flank.

Hooper will start on the openside and Salakaia-Loto is expected to come in off the bench. Two of the best openside flankers in the game, Pocock and Hooper have regularly combined in the backrow to give Australia speed to the breakdown.

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Christian Lealiifano retained his spot at first-five in favour of Bernard Foley, who was left out of the match-day 23.

The Fiji starting lineup contains three players who won gold medals when rugby sevens made its Olympic debut at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, with lock Leone Nakarawa, backrower Viliame Mata and winger Josua Tuisova all in the 15.

Nakarawa, and Campese Ma'afu are two of the four players in the Fiji starting lineup who are starting in their third World Cup.

Former rugby league star Semi Radradra earned a starting spot on the wing, with Australia-born Ben Volavola starting at No 10.

Match details: Saturday September 21, 4.45pm, Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe (NZ)

Squads

Australia:

15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Reece Hodge, 13. James O'Connor, 12. Samu Kerevi, 11. Marika Koroibete, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 9. Nic White, 8. Isi Naisarani, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 6. David Pocock, 5. Rory Arnold, 4. Izack Rodda, 3. Allan Allalatoa, 2. Tolu Latu, 1. Scott Sio.

Reserves: 16. Jordan Uelese, 17. James Slipper, 18. Sekope Kepu, 19. Adam Coleman, 20 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 21. Will Genia, 22. Matt Toomua, 23. Dane Haylett-Petty.

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Fiji:

15. Kini Murimurivalu, 14. Josua Tuisova, 13. Waisea Nayacalevu, 12. Levani Botia, 11. Semi Radradra, 10. Ben Volavola, 9. Frank Lomani, 8. Viliame Mata, 7. Peceli Yato, 6. Dominiko Waqaniburotu (c), 5. Leone Nakarawa, 4. Tevita Cavubati, 3. Peni Ravai, 2. Samuel Matavesi, 1. Campese Ma'afu.

Reserves: 16. Tuvere Vugakoto, 17. Eroni Mawi, 18. Manasa Saulo, 19. Tevita Ratuva, 20. Mosese Voka, 21. Nikola Matawalu, 22. Alivereti Veitokani, 23. Vereniki Goneva.

How to watch/stream

The Herald will have live updates of the match from 4.30pm. Spark Sport coverage starts at 4.15pm. Kickoff is at 4.45pm.

Head-to-head

Australia and Fiji have met 21 times prior to their World Cup opener, with the Wallabies winning 18 to Fiji's two. The teams also drew 3-3 in 1961 in Melbourne.

Last match: The Wallabies eased to a 37-14 victory when they last faced Fiji, on 10 June 2017.

Prediction: Wallabies by 18

Group standings