Scotland go into Saturday’s World Cup showdown with England knowing that victory could go some way to knocking their great rivals out of the tournament.
If the Scots win by eight points or more and Argentina achieve, as expected, a bonus point success over Georgia on Sunday, then Martin Johnson’s men will indeed be on the plane home from New Zealand.
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But England will start as favourites for the Auckland contest and having put in a much-improved performance against Romania last time out, they will be looking to go into the quarter-finals in good form and good spirits.
And their opponents will do well to concentrate on their own possible progression rather than any thoughts of knocking the old enemy out of the tournament. That would be a mere bonus, according to centre Nick De Luca.
“No matter who we were playing this weekend, it could be – it hopefully won’t be – our last game in the World Cup,” he told the BBC.
“If we do it right, England would go out, which would be an added bonus, but it’s not the incentive itself. What we’re doing is trying to go out there and get through ourselves.”
In team news, England’s Delon Armitage is set to be named on the wing in place of Mark Cueto for the weekend clash. Armitage played against Argentina and Georgia before Cueto came in and scored a hat-trick against Romania.
Matt Stevens has overcome an ankle injury and is likely to start ahead of Alex Corbisieroto at loose-head prop. In the second row, Courtney Lawes is likely to replace Tom Palmer after completing a two-match ban.
Johnson is due to name his team for Saturday’s 08:30 BST Eden Park showdown in the early hours of Thursday morning and it’s safe to say that it’s all brewing up nicely. It promises to be a fascinating spectacle.