The 2019 Rugby World Cup reaches its conclusion on Saturday with heavyweights England and South Africa battling it out in Yokohama for the sports ultimate prize.

The first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia has been a memorable one with some epic matches, controversial refereeing decisions and Typhoon Hagibis hitting the headlines after causing devastation in parts of the country.

With England comprehensively beating the 2011 and 2015 champions New Zealand in their semi-final, and South Africa overcoming Wales in a gripping encounter, a rerun of the 2007 final (pictured below) now awaits with the Red Roses hotly tipped to win the cup for a second time.

We sat down with Andy Speed, UCFB Regional Recruitment Manager and former Southend Rugby Club General Manager, to get his prediction and insight on the big game...

England vs South Africa

When: Saturday 2nd November at 9am GMT


England by 12 points - if they can reproduce their dominance they have produced over the last two games, the Springboks won’t be able to cope. Especially in the backs.

Players to watch

Faf de Klerk for South Africa - his box kicking and marshalling of the huge Springboks pack will be essential if they have a sniff at a win is one contender. The other would be Duane Vermulen – a powerhouse at 8 and when he is at the top of his game he could cause England some serious issues! On top of this, we have Kolbe come back into the line-up and Mapimpi who still has a chance to finish top try scorer – but would need a brace on Saturday.

For England, we are spoilt for choice, but for this one I am going to go for Maro Itoje - the lineout, scrum and breakdown will be a huge test on Saturday and that man's energy, tactical awareness and tenacity will be huge for England. As always, Owen Farrell will have a huge impact on the game and has a chance to finish the tournament as top points scorer, top of the conversion chart and penalty charts (he would have this already barring that knock he took last week allowing deputy George Forde to get some points under his belt). And the Kamikaze twins of Cunderhill will have a huge impact – with Underhill in prime position to finish the tournament at the top of the tackle charts!

Key battle

The speed of the game from breakdown to phased attack for the English will be massive. For South Africa, it will be all about the arm wrestle upfront, disrupting the breakdown and how they can turn the English defence. In a game that will be on a knife edge, and one which will be highly physical, let’s hope the discipline is kept throughout, no one gets any needless cards and that the television match official doesn’t need to get too involved.