If Fiji can beat Wales and cause one of the upsets of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, it will bring the Pacific island nation to a standstill, coach John McKee said Tuesday.
Though they have already been eliminated from quarterfinal contention, the New Zealander said victory over the world No. 2 side Wednesday at Oita Stadium would make the tournament a success in the eyes of many Fijian fans.
"Fijians are majorly passionate about their rugby and their national teams," McKee said.
"A victory for the Flying Fijians tomorrow would virtually stop the nation. I don't think there would be too much happening for the next couple of days as everyone celebrates," he said, adding Oita Stadium's "hard and fast pitch" would suit Fiji's expansive running game.
(John McKee)[World Rugby/Getty/Kyodo]
The Fijians gave Wales a run for their money in their previous World Cup meeting four years ago, eventually going down 23-13 in Cardiff.
Captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu is one of seven Fijians players who featured in that game who will also start Wednesday's Pool D match.
"That was one of the tough games we played that year. It wasn't easy back then and it's definitely not going to be easy now," the 33-year-old flanker said.
Fiji have made just one change to the XV who started in their 45-10 win over Georgia on Thursday, with Viliame Mata coming in for Peceli Yato in the back row.
While Tonga's narrow 23-21 loss to Six Nations heavyweights France on Sunday may have raised hopes of an upset among some fans, Waqaniburotu said the players were focused only on their own results.
For Wales, a victory would put them in prime position to finish on top of the pool and book a quarterfinal date with the second-place team from Pool C -- either England or France.
Coach Warren Gatland has retained 13 of the starting XV from the side who beat fellow Pool D heavyweights Australia on Sept. 29.
James Davies and Ross Moriarty come into the back row for Justin Tipuric and Aaron Wainwright, while Josh Navidi remains, but moves from No. 8 to blindside flanker.
Davies will be making his first World Cup appearance, joining his brother Jonathan in the lineup for the second time in their careers.
"It's a great opportunity for us. We're excited to represent the country and keep this good form we're showing. Irrelevant of the occasion, we just want to get the win mostly," said Jonathan, who will start at outside center.