Mark Orlovac

England locks ready for battle (61)

Paris – It has been quite a strange experience being around the England camp over the last couple of weeks.

You would have thought that as the World Cup has progressed through the knock-out rounds, the tension would have increased. Now they could just be good actors, but I haven't seen any evidence of it.

England, written off and dismissed, are on the verge of becoming the first side to retain the Webb Ellis Trophy but are not feeling the weight of expectation that maybe New Zealand and France did.

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John Beattie

Why all six nations should back England (419)

I know, I know, it might seem a crazy idea, but I’d like all Scots, Welsh, Irish, French and Italians to support England in the rugby World Cup final. What do you think?

Aaargh, stop throwing bricks at me and let me put forward my logic.

You see, when I was a wee boy growing up in Borneo, the UK seemed a long way away. But it also struck me that all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are quite like each other. For instance, you can’t say that someone a mile north of the Scottish border with England is markedly different from someone a mile south of it.

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Rob Hodgetts

Party or pooper? (394)

London - Has England’s emergence in the World Cup final caught you by surprise? No, of course not, you cry. I always had faith.

But did you back your convictions by leaving the diary empty for 2000BST on Saturday, 20 October 2007? (If you are South African, you may have done just that)

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Tom Fordyce

From Cape Town and Dover they came... (74)

The outskirts of Paris, Tuesday - “Confidence,” sang Elvis - “There's no job too immense when you've got confidence.”

While Elvis was a hero to most, he never meant squit to me. But, as I’ve strolled around the streets of Paris in the last few days, the words of the be’quiffed porker have rung in my ears time and time again.

If there’s a Springboks fan out there who isn’t completely and utterly 100% certain that his side will win the World Cup on Saturday night, I’ve yet to meet them.

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Alastair Hignell

South Africa to win (264)

You can’t predict with any certainty what will happen in sport. That’s why we play it. That’s why we watch it.

And if you could, you wouldn’t share it with the millions of readers who have visited this website in the last few weeks.

You’d remortgage your house, liquidize your assets and cart all your life-savings down to the nearest bookie.

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