Radio X presenter Polly James has backed Wales to beat Australia and book their place in the Rugby World Cup 2021 quarter-finals this weekend.
Wales take on the Wallaroos at Northland Events Centre on Saturday, in the opening match of round three, with the winner qualifying for the quarter-finals as runners-up in Pool A.
The teams have met four times at three previous Rugby World Cups, with Australia winning each of those matches.
However James, who joined Greg O’Shea and Ashleigh Wilmot on this week’s RWC 2021 Breakfast Party, urged Ioan Cunningham’s team to believe in themselves as they target a first ever victory against the Wallaroos.
“Yeah, absolutely,” James replied when asked if Wales could win in Whangārei.
“I think if we take our opportunities, stay dominant in the scrum and stay dominant in the lineout, tidy up our finishing, be a little bit more clinical, then there’s no reason why we can’t take them on.
“We dare to believe and I’m sure we can go toe-to-toe with them. We just need to take them off that pedestal, because we are just as good as them and I’m sure we can go one better against Australia and get the win and of course, get to the quarters.”
James is friends with Wales prop Cerys Hale, who she says is “living the dream” out in New Zealand.
And the radio presenter said it would be “amazing” for women in rugby in Wales if Hale and her team-mates were able to secure their place in the quarter-finals.
“They’re already doing all of us proud and they’ve got the whole nation behind them,” she said. “It would just be absolutely fantastic.”
James gave birth to her second child in August, which she admits has helped ensure she has been awake for Wales’ two matches in New Zealand so far.
“Considering it’s in the middle of the night for us, it’s worked out well because I feed my baby in the night!” James said.
The team that has caught her eye while watching the tournament has been Fiji and she will be supporting Senirusi Seruvakula’s side as well as Wales during their time at RWC 2021.
“They’re having this fairytale campaign,” James said. “It’s their debut World Cup and I’m just rooting for them.
“Obviously, I’m from Wales, a small nation [with a] big heart and I feel that Fiji’s a little bit like Wales in that sense.”