Wales stoked by sight and scale of celebrations

Ross McLean
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WALES coach Warren Gatland insists the scale of the celebrations in the principality following their victory against England have spurred his squad on to all but secure qualification to the quarter-final with victory against Fiji tomorrow.

Gatland has made three enforced changes for the clash against the Pacific Islanders at the Millennium Stadium amid a rising injury crisis which has shown no sign of abating since their Twickenham heroics.

Wing Alex Cuthbert and centre Tyler Morgan have replaced sidelined duo Hallam Amos and Scott Williams respectively, while Matthew Morgan is set to come in for Liam Williams at full-back. Experienced campaigner James Hook is on the bench.

“I have looked online and have seen the celebrations in Wales in rugby clubs, pubs and on the streets. It’s just phenomenal,” said Gatland. “It shows what rugby means to the nation of Wales. We got a massive lift from seeing those reactions.

“But the focus now is preparing for Fiji, we know how important it is. We have to put Saturday behind us. It’s incredibly important to get a result and if we do that we’re in the box seat a bit more.”

Victory against Fiji, who are without key pair Nemani Nadolo -- scorer of 16 points out of his side’s tournament total of 24 -- and Nikola Matawalu for the showdown, will see Wales hit the summit of Pool A and take a significant step towards reaching the last eight.