Owen Farrell has urged England’s rugby players to tap into the World Cup fever generated by the football and cricket teams over the last two years.
Eddie Jones’ title contenders open their pool campaign against Tonga at the Sapporo Dome on Sunday hoping to deliver a statement performance after arriving in Japan intent on reclaiming the Webb Ellis Trophy.
Having seen how supporters throw their weight behind England teams when there is the hope of success, Farrell has called on his team-mates to provide cause for celebration.
“Whenever a team has got to the knockout stages and built some momentum, the country goes mental for it,” Farrell said.
“The football World Cup last year was a massive example of that. The cricket World Cup again showed loads of momentum towards the end and the Women’s World Cup was also brilliant.
“England’s a fantastic place that builds loads of momentum when there’s a tournament on and every time one comes around you get involved in it.
“I already know how good the nation is at getting behind the team at tournaments like this.
“We’ve all been to one of them, whether it was the football World Cup, Cricket World Cup, you see the momentum that gathers back home and I’m sure those teams were able to feed off that.
“Hopefully we give them something to cheer about while we’re here and get some momentum from it. People love to see England do well at big tournaments.
“We would’ve all been one of those people and hopefully to be part of that and to get that feeling for hopefully what’s in front of us would be special.
“I’m very lucky to be part of this team. It’s a fantastic team, one that’s left no stone unturned in terms of preparation. We feel like we’re in a good place.
“Now we’ve got to be able to put that preparation into play on Sunday and be able to almost enjoy every minute of it.”
Farrell insists England are ready for anything the next six weeks throw up as they look to make the most of a rare opportunity.
“Obviously you want to be in control of what you’re doing. You don’t want to let your emotions control you,” Farrell said.
“But it’s a big part of the game, it’s a big part of getting yourself in the right place to perform. And that’s for some more than others.
“Everyone’s a bit different in terms of the way they use that. As a team we’ll be pretty clear. It’s an unbelievable opportunity to be part of a brilliant tournament.