|Rugby World Cup: Wales v Fiji|
|Venue: Oita Stadium, Oita Date: Wed, 9 October Kick-off: 10:45 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.|
Warren Gatland’s players joined a select club with their momentous World Cup win over Australia on Sunday, becoming only the second Wales team to win in seven encounters with the Wallabies in the tournament’s history.
Ross Moriarty, however, could already claim some sort of honorary membership, as both his father and uncle were in the last Wales side to triumph in a World Cup match against Australia.
That was back in 1987, the third-place play-off in the first edition of the competition, when dad Paul was at number eight and uncle Richard was in the second row.
The brothers were renowned as fierce, imposing competitors and Ross has upheld the family’s reputation as an abrasive back-rower.
Paul must have been beaming with pride, then, when he watched from the crowd at Tokyo Stadium on Sunday as his son come on as a replacement to help Wales cling on to a monumental win.
“Dad’s very emotional when it comes to me playing rugby, especially for Wales,” says Ross.
“To be involved for this World Cup again, it was a big one. They just know, bench or start, when I’ve come off I will have given everything – that’s all they know I can do.
“My dad and my uncle were in the 1987 team that last beat Australia at a World Cup. My parents came out for the game and have gone home now, but it was a special day for me.”
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Do Moriarty’s parents have plans to return to Japan at some point?
“When we get to the final, yeah,” he laughs.
Moriarty is quick to clarify that is a light-hearted remark, but it is not without sincerity.
Even if Wales’ players and coaches are not thinking beyond next week’s Pool D match against Fiji, they have given themselves the perfect start with two wins from their opening two matches.
There is a strong belief among the group in Japan that they could become the first Wales side to win a World Cup, but they will not allow themselves to look that far ahead at this point.
That is because there can be no room for complacency in this squad, not when a seemingly nailed-on first-choice player such as Moriarty has been limited to two appearances from the bench so far in this tournament.
The 25-year-old was Wales’ starting number eight as they won the Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year and, with 36 caps to his name, the 2017 British and Irish Lions tourist is playing in his second World Cup.
But it is his 22-year-old Dragons team-mate, Aaron Wainwright, who has started in his place in Japan so far, enhancing his burgeoning reputation with two excellent performances alongside the ever-impressive Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi in the back-row.
“I’ve started a lot of games in the last few campaigns. To be on the bench is obviously disappointing for myself, but I know my role in the team and when I come on the pitch it changes that mindset for me,” Moriarty says.
“I came on for 35 minutes at the weekend and it felt like I’d played the 80. For those boys starting it is tough. I’ve got quite a lot of experience and 36 caps.
“I’ve started a lot of those games, but coming off the bench I’m aiming to give the boys energy and put my front foot forward.”
‘We just smash each other’
For a player so aggressive on the pitch, Moriarty seems remarkably measured when he assesses his own role in the Wales side.
It is genuine too, and head coach Gatland has praised the Dragons enforcer for the way he has responded to losing his place in the team.
“It was disappointing not to get the start, but putting that aside the bigger picture is to help the team and make sure we prepare as well as we can and be that opposition in training,” Moriarty adds.
He has certainly done that, training with the kind of ferocity that saw blood spilled during some sessions last week, according to captain Alun Wyn Jones.
Moriarty is a man who plays the game on the edge, a bulldozing carrier and a wholehearted tackler prone to the occasional moment when the red mist descends.
No wonder, therefore, that Wales played with such intensity against Australia, having prepared with such fiery training sessions.
“We want to push each other as hard as we can, whether that’s physicality, fitness, and when we have to smash each other, we just smash each other,” says Moriarty.
“It’s 100% going into training because we know that’s going to be the best way to prepare ourselves for tough games.
“Obviously not all the time but I was quite fresh and maybe some of the other boys weren’t quite so fresh. I enjoyed that side of training last week and that obviously showed in the game, so we prepped well and we put it in on the pitch.”
Moriarty played his part in a memorable victory, replacing Wainwright early in the second half to help Wales withstand a strong Australian fightback.
Wainwright has been one of the breakthrough stars of this World Cup, and his industrious display against the Wallabies will make it difficult for Moriarty to reclaim his starting place.
Whether it is for the whole 80 minutes, 40 or less, however, Moriarty knows what makes him a valuable member of this squad.
“Presence and imposing myself physically on opponents,” he says.
“Coming off the pitch, I know I’ve put 100% into every tackle I’ve done.
“My intention is never to go out and hurt anyone or do anyone harm, but to put that physicality into the game and to do what I need to be doing is a big boost for the team.”