England world cup

England fans will be hoping to lift the Rugby World Cup final trophy later this morning

The nation will hold its collective breath later this morning as England line up to take on South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final.

Millions of fans in pubs, clubs and homes 6,000 miles away from the action in Japan are expected to be glued to screens to see if Eddie Jones’ team can lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

The Queen and the Prime Minister have sent messages of support to the England boys ahead of the 9am kick- off.

It has been 12 years since England were in a final and 16 years since they won it.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 02: Fans in fancy dress enjoy the atmosphere outside the stadium prior to the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final between England and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on November 02, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

England fans enjoy the atmosphere outside the stadium prior to the Rugby World Cup 2019 final between England and South Africa (Picture: Getty)

England rugby final

Tom Curry of England passes the ball during the Rugby World Cup 2019 semi-final match between England and New Zealand (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Prince Harry

Prince Harry has wished the England rugby team good luck before he flies out to watch the final (Picture: Getty Images)

England go into today’s game as the favourites but there is no room for complacency as the Springboks have won three of their four World Cup encounters with the English.

Prince Harry is among of tens of thousands of Red Rose supporters who have travelled to Japan to watch the eagerly-anticipated clash at the Yokohama International Stadium.

The Duke of Sussex is expected to personally convey the Queen’s ‘best wishes’ to the team for a ‘memorable and successful match.’

Boris Johnson has said the whole country was behind Eddie Jones’s team through every ‘kick, ruck, lineout and maul’.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 02: England rugby fans pictured on the way up to the stadium before the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final between England and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on November 02, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England rugby fans getting into the swing of it before the match (Picture: Getty) 

Go for it England. #RWC2019  #ENGvRSA #CarryThemHome 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 pic.twitter.com/UAw2ykTdkq

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 1, 2019

The possibility of England facing off against Wales in this year’s final had added extra frisson to the competition for British rugby fans.

But the Welsh failed to overcome South Africa in their semi-final match, and lost the bronze play-off 40-17 to New Zealand on Friday.

Broadcaster ITV said coverage of England’s semi-final clash against the All Blacks peaked at 10 million viewers, almost three quarters of the overall TV audience, last weekend.

The British Beer and Pub Association predicted that one million extra pints will be sold throughout Saturday if England are victorious in the match.

Many pubs, including 2,000 in London, are opening earlier to allow fans to watch the game.

England fans show their support ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final match at Yokohama Stadium. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 2, 2019, See PA story RUGBYU England. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of RWC 2019 T&Cs (in particular Section 5 of RWC 2019 T&Cs) at URL: bit.ly/2knOId6

England fans show their support ahead of Saturday’s clash (Picture: PA)

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 02: A local fan arrives for the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final between England and South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on November 02, 2019 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

A local fan arrives for the Rugby World Cup 2019 final, supporting South Africa (Picture: Getty)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Eddie Jones, the England head coach, celebrates after their victory during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at AAMI Park on June 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Can Eddie Jones’ team manage a win this morning? (Picture: Getty)

Saturday’s match has still created a test for some fans who find themselves split by sporting rivalries.

Newlyweds Rosie and Ken Marshall, who recently honeymooned in Japan, will be cheering on different teams when the final gets underway.

Ken, 37, originally from Johannesburg, and Rosie, 31, will be watching at home in Birmingham while wearing the Mr and Mrs South Africa and England shirts bought for them as a wedding present.

Ken said: ‘Rosie and I will be happy for the other whatever the result – even if bragging rights will be decided for the next four years.’

England fans before the 2019 Rugby World Cup final match at Yokohama Stadium. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 2, 2019, See PA story RUGBYU England. Photo credit should read: Adam Davy/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of RWC 2019 T&Cs (in particular Section 5 of RWC 2019 T&Cs) at URL: bit.ly/2knOId6

Fans are heading to the stadium (Picture: PA)

South Africa fans show thir support ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final match at Yokohama Stadium. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 2, 2019, See PA story RUGBYU England. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of RWC 2019 T&Cs (in particular Section 5 of RWC 2019 T&Cs) at URL: bit.ly/2knOId6

South Africa fans are also out in force in Japan (Picture: PA)

England fans show their support ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final match at Yokohama Stadium. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 2, 2019, See PA story RUGBYU England. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Strictly no commercial use or association. Still image use only. Use implies acceptance of RWC 2019 T&Cs (in particular Section 5 of RWC 2019 T&Cs) at URL: bit.ly/2knOId6

Can England lift the trophy for the first time in 16 years? (Picture: PA)

Meanwhile, there will also be split allegiances among the ranks of the Queen’s Life Guard on Saturday as the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment go about their duties at Hyde Park Barracks in London.

Corporal of Horse Gareth Cowen, 45, from Plymouth, from 2 Troop Blues and Royals Squadron will be cheering England on, while 1 Troop The Life Guards Corporal of Horse Jacques Hattingh, 39, from Bloemfontein, South Africa, will be backing the Springboks.

‘I’m in the British Army, and proud to serve the Queen’ said Corporal of Horse Hattingh, adding: ‘But on Saturday I’ll be shouting out for my homeland. It’s the Springboks all the way’.

Corporal of Horse Cowen said: ‘I think England have a good chance. They’re the strongest team for many years, it’ll be a definite England win on Saturday.’

Teacher Anne Wheeler gave up her job to follow the England team around Japan for six weeks with girlfriend Genevieve Moody.

Anne, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, said: ‘No school is going to give a teacher six weeks off to watch the rugby. But when will I get the chance to come out to Japan and do this again?’

This content was originally published here.