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.

jokes that his parents did not fly to Argentina to watch him play for Wales last year because his brother Jonathan, the senior sibling in terms of age and caps, had been rested and left out of the squad.

Perhaps they had simply been saving up for the World Cup in Japan, where both their sons find themselves not only in the Wales squad but in the starting team to face Fiji on Wednesday.

So as James prepares to make his World Cup debut in only his sixth appearance for Wales, he must be delighted his parents have travelled to Oita to watch.

“Well, they have but obviously he’s here so they’ve made the trip,” he says with a wide grin, pointing to Jonathan by his side.

“I think they’d booked a while ago expecting Jon to be picked and they’ve ended up with two for the price of one now that I managed to make the squad.”

Despite his excellent performances in Argentina and for his regional side, the Scarlets, open-side flanker James was something of a surprise selection in Wales’ 31-man World Cup squad, if only because of the formidable competition for places in the back row.

Having been overlooked for the opening wins over Georgia and , the 28-year-old has been handed a first start of the tournament as the usual occupant of the number seven jersey, Justin Tipuric, has been rested.

Davies is renowned for his sense of humour and, when informed him of his selection, the head coach said the player’s response was: “You’ve finally seen the light, have you?”

That raised a laugh from Gatland as he told the tale, and Davies cannot resist a giggle as he gives his version of events.

“It was a bit tongue in cheek,” he says.

“Firstly I’d like to say Tips and all the back row have been outstanding in my eyes and I was a little bit shocked to get the call.

“But like Warren said I believe in myself and now I’ve got the chance to show that.”

When the Davies brothers played against England in a warm-up match in Cardiff in August, they became the first siblings to play together for Wales since Jamie and Nicky Robinson in 2006.

On Wednesday, they will become the first to do so at a World Cup since Scott and Craig Quinnell in 1999.

“I’m sure Mam and Dad are very proud and the rest of the family,” says Jonathan.

“But our focus is on preparing well and getting ready for a tough Test match against Fiji.”

It will certainly be a proud day for their parents, whose pub in the Carmarthenshire village of Bancyfelin, the Fox and Hounds, inspired the nickname ‘Foxy’ for Jonathan and ‘Cubby’ for James.

Those monikers remain, as domestic team-mates at the Scarlets and now as international brothers in arms with Wales.

High expectations of one another

Wales’s strong start to the World Cup means victory over Fiji would seal quarter-final qualification with a Pool D match against to spare.

Whereas centre Jonathan will be winning his 79th cap for Wales, James will only be making his sixth appearance for his country.

So will the senior sibling be looking out for his little brother?

“Look, he’s there because he’s good enough and I don’t have to worry at all,” Jonathan says.

“The best part about it is that we expect extremely high standards of each other. If one makes a mistake, the other one doesn’t have to say anything. We just know.”

The two understand each other with the clarity you would expect from brothers.

Jonathan, arguably the world’s best outside centre, is the understated one, laid back and softly spoken.

James, by contrast, is an impish character, never happier than when he is cracking a joke or winding up his team-mates.

It came as little surprise, then, when he was recently quoted as saying he would get a tattoo of the Webb Ellis Trophy if Wales win the World Cup.

“I don’t think I said that,” he protests with a laugh.

“But if we won the World Cup, who knows? Anything could happen if we win the World Cup.”


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