Yes, England’s rugby match is early tomorrow, but your morning cuppa is going to be that much more exciting as Eddie Jones’ team has the chance to make history for England Rugby.
New Zealand has won 15 of 16 encounters between the two nations. England were able to get the better of the All Blacks at Twickenham in 2012, but have lost all six encounters since. England have not beaten the All Blacks in a major tournament, ever.
Overcoming the current Rugby World Cup champions would feel like they have won the entire tournament. This is the furthest they have been in a World Cup since 2007, where they were defeated by South Africa in the final.
The All Blacks have not lost a World Cup match since their quarter-final against France in 2007.
England topped one of the toughest groups in the tournament on their way to tomorrow’s semi-final overcoming Argentina and the USA.
Typhoon Hagibis intervened and took away their chance to clash against France, but Jones’ side sailed through unharmed, topping the group by two points.
Expectations were high for England before the tournament began, with many claiming that they have the best chance of lifting the trophy since their success in 2003.
Dan Luger, 2003 Rugby World Cup champion, acknowledged that this current squad has every ingredient to win it when talking to the Sports Gazette.
The hunger for the title “World Champion” is contagious. These athletes push themselves to the best of their ability, play the best they have ever played and have the belief of becoming World Champions, that is undeniably captivating.
“People from all over the country that don’t necessarily know much about rugby will be supporting the team massively because they will be proud of a team that has a chance of winning,” adds Luger.
Personally, I did not understand rugby until this tournament. Watching some of the nail-biting, heart racing, edge of the seat matches of this past five weeks has made me come to love the sport.
I’ve learned that playing with grit and passion every single match is simply part of the sport’s culture.
Not knowing rugby should not put you off from watching England’s match tomorrow. Rules of Sport have broken down the basics of rugby in a quick guide here.
With a basic understanding of the sport, along with the interest to see if England can break their unwanted streak against New Zealand, it is enough to enjoy tomorrow’s game.
Kick-off is 9am (UK time) and you can watch on ITV.