England will look to beat South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final
People have asked me whether, as one of the class of 2003, it will feel like something has been taken away from me if England win the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 16 years today.
Not at all. I know for the last 16 years how good that has made me feel. I want these guys to experience that feeling of being a World Cup winner too.
It is a unique sensation. Guys like Owen Farrell have been European champions at club and international level but knowing you are the best in the world is something else entirely.
The magnitude of a World Cup final is enormous and the emotions it triggers are so deep they are hard to explain.
You’ve worked so hard as a team to reach this point and fulfil a childhood dream that it can be hard to hold it together.
This team have come so far together from the ridicule of the 2015 World Cup when they failed to get out of the group at their home World Cup.
Anthony Watson was crying after the semi-final and I would imagine pretty much all of them will be choking back a tear or two if they do it today in Yokohama.
Managing the emotion is one of the biggest challenges England will face today. They have to play the game not the occasion otherwise it will just suck the energy out of them. Forget all the bells and whistles around the natch and who has come to watch, just stick to the process.
They need to tap into some emotions to reach the level they did against New Zealand in the semi-final but keep others at arm’s length.
I sent a couple of the guys a message before match spelling out to them that they didn’t need to go looking for things ahead of that game because they had all the skills and talent they needed inside them.
The same applies on Saturday. If they play anything like they did against the All Blacks the game is theirs for the taking.
They are 80 minutes away – assuming they don’t need extra time like we did – from doing something they will never forget and making history.
The probability is that they will never be in this situation again.
One more big push, keep the bar high and they will become that next England World Cup-winning team.
People will no longer have to keep harping back to 2003, Jonny dropping that goal or me scoring that try.
It will be great for the players, great for English rugby and great for England as a country.
And if they do it I will be celebrating as hard as anyone.
Jason Robinson is an ambassador for Fuzion100, the official rehydration partner of England Rugby. Find out more at CoCofuzion100.co.uk