IF Fiji achieve anything of note in the Rugby World Cup next year, they will owe a debt of gratitude to Scotland for being on the receiving end when the Pacific Islanders proved to themselves they could grind out a win.

Though John McKee, the Fiji coach, has picked a side with only six players in common with that team who beat Scotland 27-22 last June, that hardy half dozen are all the key men from that victory.

It was, after all, based on being able to blast Scotland off the ball to control the breakdown and four of the back five of the scrum from that day are back in tomorrow's side. They include the likes of Leone Nakarawa, who laid on a demonstration of second row powerplay alongside his usual silky skills, and Peceli Yato, the flanker whose tackling probably still has some of the Scots backs waking in a sweat.

In case you think the final member of that quintet might weaken the side, don't. The sole change in the unit sees Edinburgh's Viliame Mata, the No8 who seems to be automatic choice as man of the match these days, slot in. No lessening of power or talent there.

The other factor in the Suva win was the performance of Ben Volavola, the fly-half who has since joined Finn Russell at Racing 92. He kicked 17 points and controlled the game astutely.

"I look at that match and say we won it in a very un-Fijian fashion, especially at the death when we controlled the game and controlled possession with less than a score between the teams," McKee recalled. "We managed to control the field position, not give away penalties and keep possession, which was really important. That was part of being successful in international rugby and one of the things we have had to learn.

"It is not all the flair and the million dollar plays that bring you home; sometimes you just have to control the game at critical moments. For us it is a learning curve all the time.

"It is not talent that wins games, though it is massively helpful in the outcome, it is how we got about our work in the dark areas of the game in rucks and mauls and set piece.

"Scotland will probably try to come at us pretty hard in the set-piece so we will have to be right on top of our game there to set ourselves up with any chance of quality ball."

McKee could not say he was confident, after all Fiji are ranked 10th in the world and Scotland seventh, but he has reasons to be optimistic. There is only one of his starting side who is not based in Europe, though a potential weakness on the bench where four are home based and three come from second division European clubs.

The starting XV, though is both strong and experienced.

"They are playing European competition, European Cup or Challenge Cup, so they play against each other a lot and are familiar with places," he pointed out.

"In the past there was maybe a bit of a wow factor with the Fijians coming from the South Pacific and going to somewhere like Murrayfield. That is not a factor any more. The players know the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition from playing against them regularly in the Northern Hemisphere competitions."

Nor is there any doubt among the players that they can upset Scotland again, as captain Dominiko Waqaniburoto pointed out.

"It is an opportunity for us to come from the small Island teams to play a Tier One nation, a good chance for us to come and showcase what we have got," he said.

Fiji: S Tuicuvu (Clermont Auvergne); M Talebula (Bayonne), S Radradra (Bordeaux Bègles), J Vatubua (Pau), V Goneva (Newcastle Falcons); B Volavola (Racing 92), F Lomani (Fijian Drua); C Ma’afu (Leicester Tigers), S Matavesi (Cornish Pirates), M Saulo (London Irish), T Cavubati (Newcastle Falcons), L Nakarawa (Racing 92), D Waqaniburotu (Brive), P Yato (Clermont Auvergne), V Mata (Edinburgh). Replacements: M Dolokoto (Fijian Drua), E Mawi (Fijian Drua), K Tawake (Biarritz), A Tuisue (Fijian Drua), S Kunatani (Harlequins), H Seniloli (Doncaster Knights), A Veitokani (Fijian Drua), E Vasiteri (Provence).