2019 Rugby World Cup: Australia v Wales
Venue: Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo Date: Sun, 29 September Kick-off: 08:45 BST
Coverage: Full commentary on every Wales game across BBC Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

In his latest BBC Sport column, Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes explains why a broken bone in his hand will not stop him from playing in Sunday’s crucial World Cup match with Australia.

Injuries come with the territory in any game and, although I’ve got a little broken bone in my hand, it’s nothing to worry about before we face Australia.

I don’t even remember how I did it in the win over Georgia on Monday but, during the second half, I could feel a little pain and a bone moving when I pushed down on my knuckle.

I kind of knew I’d done something, then I spoke to the physios and medical staff afterwards, had the X-ray and then it came back with the news that it was a broken metacarpal.

But the main thing is they told me it’s something I can play on with.

It is what it is. I’ll be fine for the Australia game on Sunday, and I can’t wait.

It shouldn’t be a problem for me. It’s nothing new – I played with a compound fracture in my finger in Argentina last year.

Most players have little niggles, in all sorts of parts of your body, and you manage to play through it most of the time because you love pulling on that jersey and representing your country.

Another positive is that we’ve got a long turnaround after the Australia game, nine days to recuperate before we play against Fiji.

The kind of fixtures you want to be involved in

You still have to pinch yourself that you’re at a World Cup.

After the amazing welcome in Kitakyushu, it was great to finally get started with that win against Georgia in Toyota.

Scoring four tries in the first half gave us a bit of confidence and, although Georgia came back at us in the second, we’re feeling good about the Australia game.

As a group of backs, we produced some nice moves against Georgia and it was great to score so many tries from set-piece plays.

Hadleigh Parkes in action against Georgia

Hopefully we can continue that against Australia because this is a huge game.

They’re very competitive people and we’ve had a lot of exciting matches against them over the years. These are the kind of fixtures you want to be involved in.

Any match against Australia is big, but this being a really important World Cup game makes it even bigger, for the players, coaches and the fans.

I’ve heard a lot of fans are going to be flying over from Wales, so it should be a great atmosphere.

Getting stuck into the Aussies

When I was a kid in New Zealand, I used to play a bit of cricket – as an all-rounder – and I always used to look up to Australia’s cricketers.

I had to give up playing when rugby got serious but I loved watching Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and the rest, so I’ve always admired the Australian cricket team.

The rivalry between New Zealanders and Australians is a bit like what Wales and England have, so it’s always nice to get one over the Aussies.

We’re looking forward to getting stuck into them again on Sunday!

We beat them last November so it will be good to keep that momentum going and keep up our good start at the World Cup.

We’ve loved being here in Japan. We’re here to work, but we’ve also had a chance to enjoy ourselves and try to take in some of the sights.

Tokyo is an amazing city and we checked out the Shibuya Crossing the other day, which was pretty cool.

Jonathan Davies has also helped me find some good places for coffee, which is always important for me wherever we go!

But the main thing is the big match on Sunday. It’s a massive game for us, we’re feeling good and hopefully we can get another win over Australia.

Hadleigh Parkes was speaking to BBC Sport Wales’ Dafydd Pritchard.


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