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Saturday 3 December 2016

Former World Champion Joe Calzaghe tries to help Wales deliver knock-out blow over Fiji

Joe Calzaghe paid a visit to the Wales squad before their match against Fiji
Joe Calzaghe paid a visit to the Wales squad before their match against Fiji
Wales’ Robin McBryde

Wales could deliver another painful blow to England's ailing Rugby World Cup campaign if they beat Pool A opponents Fiji at the Millennium Stadium today.

And undefeated former world boxing champion Joe Calzaghe will have played a small part in helping unbeaten Wales continue punching their weight, should the 2011 World Cup semi-finalists move top of the so-called group of death.

If Wales see off the South Sea Islanders, then host nation England must beat Australia at Twickenham on Saturday or they will be knocked out of their own World Cup after just 15 days.

Welshman Calzaghe met the Wales squad on Tuesday, when the players were treated to a private viewing of Mr Calzaghe - a documentary-film about the Newbridge fighter's life - followed by a question and answer session.

"It was good for the boys to see the film, but also to talk to Joe and his father," Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said.

"It came across strongly that he has been true to his roots. He was never-say-die, always saw himself as the underdog and trained as such. He thrived on that.

"We've still got a bit of work to do after putting ourselves in a great situation in the group, and we know that we have sterner and stiffer challenges that we need to meet head-on.

"Joe stuck around and spent time answering the boys' questions with his father. It was great for them to have some respite from rugby and to talk to one of the world's finest sportsmen.

Wales' 28-25 success at Twickenham last Saturday kick-started momentum for them in the tournament, and McBryde admits there is a similarity between the current World Cup campaign and in New Zealand four years ago.

"That was a huge result last week. We have put ourselves in a good position, but nothing more than that. We've paid Fiji huge respect and put a lot of work in off the field," he added.

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