They may be unfancied, but the northern hemisphere’s last hope can draw inspiration from their last World Cup semi-final
Monday morning, barely 12 hours after full time in their World Cup quarter-final win against Fiji, Marcus Smith’s lip still fat from one of the numerous whacks he received, and the England coaches have already held a meeting to plot a victory against South Africa that few believe they have much of a chance of pulling off.
They will hold another before the day is out and, while Steve Borthwick had started planning for both potential opponents last week, he can consign his French homework to the scrapheap. Up next in Paris on Saturday are South Africa: the side that bullied England off the field in the 2019 final, the side who have just dumped the hosts out of their own party and moved to the top of the world rankings as a result, the side who precipitated regime change at the Rugby Football Union – the defeat at Twickenham last November was Eddie Jones’s last in charge – and the side now as short as evens to successfully defend their crown.
Written by Gerard Meagher in Paris
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/oct/16/you-have-to-attack-it-england-get-set-for-brutal-tussle-against-south-africa under the title “‘You have to attack it’: England get set for brutal tussle against South Africa”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.