|2019 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.|
In his latest BBC Sport column, Wales centre Hadleigh Parkes reveals why team-mates have been calling him Robocop after the dramatic World Cup win over Australia, discusses what the squad have been up to in Otsu and looks ahead to Wednesday’s match against Fiji.
You may have noticed I’ve been strapped up quite a lot recently to help with different injuries, so the boys have been giving me stick, saying I look like Robocop.
I’ve got my right hand, my right forearm, my left elbow and my left bicep all strapped up, so it’s ridiculous how much tape I’m using at the moment.
I want to get rid of it because I’m starting to look like half man, half tape.
But the main thing is that it helped me get through our game against Australia last Sunday, and to get the win was awesome.
I’d broken a bone in my hand in our first game against Georgia and the hand was pretty tender after the Wallabies game, but it didn’t affect me too much.
Our medical team is one of the best there is, led by Prav Mathema. I’m seeing them every day, talking to them every day, and they’re looking after me really well.
The hand is no worse than it was and it’s actually moving quite well.
It’s amazing what the body and mind can do when you’ve got an injury.
Say you break something and you don’t use it for six weeks, you’re just waiting in your cast and trying to leave it alone.
But when you use your body when it’s injured, you get accustomed to it and your headspace gets better and better. I don’t feel it as much any more.
Getting stick for my try
Australia was a big game for us and a big game for the Wallabies as well.
We’ve been on the end of some narrow defeats against them over the years, but the last couple of times we’ve managed to get the win.
It was nice to get a try but the boys have been giving me a bit of stick for that too, saying they have no idea how I outjumped Marika Koroibete.
With a penalty advantage you’ve got a shot to nothing but also you want to make a team pay. Luckily I was on the wing and Biggsy [Dan Biggar] put in a great kick and I somehow managed to grab hold of it.
Our start was superb – Biggsy with the drop-goal after Ken Owens and Aaron Wainwright did really well at the breakdown, and then the try.
The second half got a bit tense but everyone put a huge shift in and it’s just great to get two wins from two.
I don’t know if there’s been a change of mindset but something I’ve always been told is that Wales are slow starters in tournaments and then build their way into it.
But you don’t want to be stuck in that pattern, chasing the pack.
In this tournament, we had Georgia first. They’re a tough team but we started well and had the bonus point before half-time.
Then in the Australia game, they’d had a longer turnaround than us and they’re a team that can score points, so you have to have that mindset that you’re going to outscore them, not just defend.
To be two from two is good – but ultimately we want to be four from four.
We’ve put ourselves in a good position, so let’s make the most of that to top our pool and keep building momentum.
And we’re not losing sight of the threat that Fiji will bring when we face them on Wednesday.
There’s talent across that backline and they’re big, physical men with a pretty impressive skillset.
We watched them beat Georgia and we know it’s going to be a very tough challenge, but we’re looking forward to it because that’s what you need – these tough games before what will be tough games hopefully later in the tournament.
Japanese culture trip continues
The day after we beat Australia, we travelled from Tokyo to Otsu, where we’ve been having a bit of downtime.
It’s totally different to Tokyo. I think it would have been extremely dangerous if we’d had three days off in Tokyo!
I’d always heard it was busy and it was – people everywhere, a fast pace of life, good food, everyone extremely friendly, and it’s relatively easy to get around too.
We found some nice places to eat and some good coffee shops, which regular readers of this column will know is very important for the boys.
When it came to finding those places, it was Jonathan Davies taking the lead again. He follows a load of accounts on Instagram, writes down what he likes and then ticks them off when we visit them.
I think that’s a really good way to travel, especially when you go to places you don’t know.
Then, at the other end of the scale, there’s Otsu.
We had a few days off when we got here, which was needed after two tough first games against Georgia and Australia and a short turnaround in between.
It has been nice here in Otsu, where our hotel looks over the lake and the people have been really friendly.
|Wales World Cup fixtures & results – Pool D|
|Mon, 23 Sept: Wales 43-14 Georgia|
|Sun, 29 Sept: Wales 29-25 Australia|
|Wed, 9 Oct: Wales v Fiji, Oita Stadium, Oita (10:45 BST)|
|Sun, 13 Oct: Wales v Uruguay, Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium, Kumamoto City (09:15 BST)|
The days off were quite lazy. A few of us went fishing, which was fun. I’m more of a sea fisherman usually but we managed to catch a few small ones.
The sun was out so the tops were off – I’m always working on that tan!
We went to Kyoto one day too, so it was interesting to check out the history, the temples and gardens and stuff like that.
It’s been a nice, chilled few days and nice to get away from the big city – but we’re here to do a job.
On Friday, we were back to it in training, and we were looking at it like a Monday, the start of a Test week building up to Wednesday’s match against Fiji.
Hadleigh Parkes was speaking to BBC Sport Wales’ Dafydd Pritchard.