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Farrell hopes his men can fulfil boyhood dreams in decider

Plans: Owen Farrell yesterday
Plans: Owen Farrell yesterday

By Duncan Bech

Owen Farrell expects his England team-mates to seize their opportunity to realise their boyhood dreams by emptying the tanks in today's World Cup final.

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South Africa stand between Eddie Jones' side and the Webb Ellis Trophy as the sport's top two teams prepare to face off at International Stadium Yokohama in a repeat of the 2007 showpiece.

In recognition of how tight the contest could be - England are favourites but the Springboks have the firepower to cause mayhem up front and in midfield - Farrell was yesterday practising drop goals under the guidance of Jonny Wilkinson.

As the extra-time architect of Australia's downfall in the 2003 final, Wilkinson's counsel has been sought on the eve of a seismic clash between rivals who are tied at 2-2 in meetings over the last 18 months.

And Farrell has echoed Jones' mantra of approaching the match with "no fear" by offering all-out commitment in the climax to the first Asian World Cup.

"Everybody wants to be involved in this game and there are probably a lot of people who grew up wanting to be involved in this," Farrell said.

"Now this opportunity has come around, you want to enjoy it, you want to go for it.

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"You don't want to dip your toe in and see what happens, you want to throw all of yourself into it and that's the way that we'll look to go about it."

England enter the game with a good luck message from Prince Harry that included a photo of his son Archie in a Red Rose jersey and a warning from Jones to be ready for anything.

South Africa's Rassie Erasmus steps down after the World Cup and Jones is an admirer of a coach he describes as "cunning".

"Rassie's a very good coach, he's an outstanding coach. He's inventive, so they'll have a few tricks up their sleeve," Jones said.

"They've got great players: Faf De Klerk has probably been the half-back of the tournament so far and Willie Le Roux is a fantastic player at full-back.

"And they've got talent like Cheslin Kolbe on the wing, so we're expecting the unexpected.

"We've just got to focus on each moment and play with no fear. What I feel is that the squad know how hard they're going to have to work to win the game.

"They know South Africa aren't going to give us the game. They also know we've got to go out there and win the game.

"We've been nicely building over four years and this is our opportunity to put it all together. One last chance."

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola hopes to be able to invite England boss Jones to Manchester City as a Rugby World Cup winner.

The Australian has spoken in the past about how he was inspired to change his coaching methods after watching Guardiola take a training session at Bayern Munich.

Guardiola is a fan of several other sports including rugby, and will be cheering on England today.

He said: "We spoke once or twice, not much honestly. He was so kind, it was a pleasure to meet him.

"We talked some movements of rugby. I'm a big fan. I don't understand too much, I've never been in a game, but I watch on TV.

"I will ask him how they do to make (recovery) after the game - it's incredible, how can they survive? I cannot imagine. We spoke about sports, about life - nothing special.

"Hopefully they can win and we invite him and his staff to come in and we can talk more. I wish him luck."

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