England face Japan in their second Rugby World Cup pool match on Sunday, as they look to build on an impressive win over Argentina last weekend.
Steve Borthwick’s team top Pool D after beating the Pumas 27-10, securing a vital victory even though flanker Tom Curry was sent off for a dangerous tackle in the third minute.
A spectacular and highly-focused defensive performance banished all the woes of the troubled build-up to this World Cup, but all that positivity will evaporate if they do not handle a Japanese side ranked 14th in the world in Nice.
What time is England vs Japan?
England vs Japan kicks off at 8pm BST on Sunday 17 September from Stade de Nice. The match will be shown live on ITV1, with coverage starting from 7.15pm. You can also watch online via ITVX.
Mark Pougatch presents, with analysis from Jonny Wilkinson, Clive Woodward and Lawrence Dallaglio, reports from Jill Douglas and Ugo Monye, and commentary from Nick Mullins and Ben Kay.
Rugby World Cup schedule in full
All matches will be shown on ITV1 unless specified. Times are BST.
- Friday 8 Sept – France vs New Zealand, Stade de France, 8.15pm
- Saturday 9 Sept – Italy vs Namibia, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 12pm
- Saturday 9 Sept – Ireland vs Romania, Stade de Bordeaux, 2.30pm
- Saturday 9 Sept – Australia vs Georgia, Stade de France, 5pm
- Saturday 9 Sept – England vs Argentina, Stade de Marseille, 8pm
- Sunday 10 Sept – Japan vs Chile, Stade de Toulouse, 12pm
- Sunday 10 Sept – South Africa vs Scotland, Stade de Marseille, 4.45pm
- Sunday 10 Sept – Wales vs Fiji, Stade de Bordeaux, 8pm
- Thursday 14 Sept – France vs Uruguay, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 8pm – ITV4
- Friday 15 Sept – New Zealand vs Namibia, Stadium de Toulouse, 8pm
- Saturday 16 Sept – Samoa vs Chile, Stade de Bordeaux, 2pm – ITV4
- Saturday 16 Sept – Wales vs Portugal, Stade de Nice 4.45pm
- Saturday 16 Sept – Ireland vs Tonga, Stade de la Beaujoire, 8pm
- Sunday 17 Sept – South Africa vs Romania, Stade de Bordeaux, 2pm
- Sunday 17 Sept – Australia vs Fiji, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 4.45pm
- Sunday 17 Sept – England vs Japan, Stade de Nice, 8pm
- Wednesday 20 Sept – Italy vs Uruguay, Stade de Nice, 4.45pm – ITV4
- Thursday 21 Sept – France vs Namibia, Stade de Marseille, 8pm – ITV4
- Friday 22 Sept – Argentina vs Samoa, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 4.45pm
- Saturday 23 Sept – Georgia vs Portugal, Stadium de Toulouse, 1pm
- Saturday 23 Sept – England vs Chile, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 4.45pm
- Saturday 23 Sept – South Africa vs Ireland, Stade de France, 8pm
- Sunday 24 Sept – Scotland vs Tonga, Stade de Nice, 4.45pm
- Sunday 24 Sept – Wales vs Australia, OL Stadium, 8pm
- Wednesday 27 Sept – Uruguay vs Namibia, OL Stadium, 4.45pm – ITV4
- Thursday 28 Sept – Japan vs Samoa, Stade de Toulouse, 8pm – ITV4
- Friday 29 Sept – New Zealand vs Italy, OL Stadium, 8pm
- Saturday 30 Sept – Argentina vs Chile, Stade de la Beaujoire, 2pm
- Saturday 30 Sept – Fiji vs Georgia, Stade de Bordeaux, 4.45pm
- Saturday 30 Sept – Scotland vs Romania, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 8pm
- Sunday 1 Oct – Australia vs Portugal, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 4.45pm – ITV4
- Sunday 1 Oct – South Africa vs Tonga, Stade de Marseille, 8pm
- Thursday 5 Oct – New Zealand vs Uruguay, OL Stadium, 8pm – ITV4
- Friday 6 Oct – France vs Italy, OL Stadium, 8pm
- Saturday 7 Oct – Wales vs Georgia, Stade de la Beaujoire, 2pm
- Saturday 7 Oct – England vs Samoa, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 4.45pm
- Saturday 7 Oct – Ireland vs Scotland, Stade de France, 8pm
- Sunday 8 Oct – Japan vs Argentina, Stade de la Beaujoire, 12pm
- Sunday 8 Oct – Tonga vs Romania, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 4.45pm – ITV4
- Sunday 8 Oct – Fiji vs Portugal, Stade de Toulouse, 8pm – ITV4
- Saturday 14 Oct – Winner Pool C vs Runner-up Pool D, Stade de Marseille, 4pm
- Saturday 14 Oct – Winner Pool B vs Runner-up Pool A, Stade de France, 8pm
- Sunday 15 Oct – Winner Pool D vs Runner-up Pool C, Stade de Marseille, 4pm
- Sunday 15 Oct – Winner Pool A vs Runner-up Pool B, Stade de France, 8pm
- Friday 20 Oct – Winner QF 1 vs Winner QF 2, Stade de France, 8pm
- Saturday 21 Oct – Winner QF 3 vs Winner QF 4, Stade de France, 8pm
Bronze medal match
- Friday 27 Oct – Runner-up SF 1 vs Runner-up SF 2, Stade de France, 8pm
- Saturday 28 Oct – Winner SF 1 vs Winner SF 2, Stade de France, 8pm
What should we expect from England vs Japan?
Wing Elliot Daly insists it is time for England to show their teeth in attack as they look to build on the defensive masterclass delivered against Argentina.
A steely performance addressed concerns about the vulnerability of their defence but with all the points arriving off the boot of George Ford, the deficiencies of an attack that has yet to fire since Borthwick took charge were exposed once more.
Moments of promise in Marseille – most notably a five-on-two overlap – failed to materialise into tries and Daly is targeting an improvement when the group campaign continues against Japan.
“We know how good our attack can be, so hopefully in the next few games we’ll be able to show that,” the Saracens wing said.
“A lot of people wrote us off against Argentina so for us to come out and perform like that and get that scoreline was pretty impressive.
“If we can do the same this weekend, perform how we want to perform and put our game on Japan, let’s see where that takes us.
“We’re not saying we’re going to chuck the ball around, but we’re going to put ourselves in positions in attack to take the opportunities we create.
“We did actually see the space on the weekend, but we probably couldn’t go into it when down to 14. We’re seeing the space a lot more, which is going to create more opportunities with the ball.
“There’s a lot more to come from us and I’m very excited about how we’re approaching it.”
For England to thrive against Japan they must shed their habit of seeing players sent off for illegal challenges having amassed four red cards in six Tests.
Curry’s dismissal against Argentina lifts the total number of cards for their 10 matches this year to nine, the highest of any side ranked in the top 10.
While Daly takes comfort from knowing England have played some of their best rugby when their backs are against the wall, he insists they must be aware of the current climate in the game which sees dangerous play being clamped down on.
“We just need probably to make sure we’re whiter than white, but these things happen, so it’s about we react on the field to that,” he said.
“Obviously we don’t want that in big games, but if we do have it, it’s something we’ve got to shrug off and understand what we’re lacking in that position.
“We understand that we want to keep 15 people on the field but if we don’t it’s how we react to that really. We’ve got to understand that if you do go high and it’s 50-50 there’s a chance of a penalty or even worse.”