So after all the build up, it is time to decide who will be the finalists at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
South Africa and Wales meet on Sunday in the other semi-final but first up, it’s the blockbuster clash between defending champions New Zealand and Eddie Jones’ England.
New Zealand have not lost a World Cup game since a quarterfinal defeat to France in 2007, and are aiming for an unprecedented third consecutive title. No other team has won two World Cups in a row. They also take a six-game winning streak into their clash against England, have won 33 of their 41 matches against England while it is 18 World Cup match victories and counting against all opposition for the All Blacks.
The Red Roses, meanwhile, are aiming to reach the final for the first time since 2007, when they lost to South Africa. They were eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2011 and famously failed to make it out of the group stage in 2015 when the tournament was hosted in their own back yard.
But they do have World Cup pedigree, most notably in the 2003 when their extra-time victory over Australia saw England become the only team from the northern hemisphere to lift the trophy.
England head coach Eddie Jones was up to his old tricks in the build-up to the game, claiming his team had been spied on and that the pressure would be ‘chasing them (New Zealand) all the way down the street’ this week.
Under him, England have met New Zealand just once during his time in charge with England surrendering a 15-0 lead to lost 16-15 in the Twickenham rain last November.
England will definitely be up for this occasion, as will New Zealand. To quote my colleague, the cast list is stellar, the script yet to be written, a blockbuster is in the making.