It may not have been a World Cup but Ian Foster, the All Blacks coach, emphasised that they want to win every match. If other teams, including most notably England, needed to understand the levels they need to attain, look no further than Lansdowne Road on Saturday. I was there, partly because I had an invite for the biggest game of the Autumn but also because we at Sporting Wine Club were introducing the Doddie’5 red wine to Dublin, a product made by Springbok International Schalk Burger for Doddie Weir and his Foundation to raise funds to combat Motor Neuron disease. A government announcement in the same weekend that significant amounts of money were to be committed to find a cure just added to the thrill of the rugby as well as a statement for the rugby family at large.The sense that Farrell has gained the belief and confidence of his squad is undisputed after this display. They should have scored 40 at least, and only fanatical defence from the Men in Black saved the scoreline plus their incredible opportunism. The pace, dynamism, control, and collective attitude were all on show from the Men in Green, all roared on by a disbelieving capacity crowd. Sexton has said this should not be the peak, a simple landmark on the way to France in 2023. Ireland owe themselves a big World Cup and I sense this is the moment to believe in it. What is also impressive is the advent of young talent so carefully nurtured, and a credit to the system in Ireland and the strength of the provinces, four of them and mighty proud no doubt. Meantime, the big game of this weekend approaches and I admit to much uncertainty. I heard a lot about the flexibility of the England backline against Australia, interchanging positions, and I love this idea in principle. I was the first England centre to be asked to play on the wing back in 1990 against Wales, and it was designed that I should come through the middle as well bring some defensive attributes to bear across the field, and aerially! As I said to Will Carling (new Hall of Fame inductee, much deserved) it’s not the pace itself, it’s what you do with what you have!! What I saw from the video of England’s performance was promising in parts but definitely a work in progress. Arguably a year too late but at last some innovative thinking is happening, possibly even a little too much. I think Smith should play on the gainline not shadowing behind Farrell and this weekend through injury that is where he will be I suspect. Cometh the hour, and he does not lack confidence so give him the reins! Slade should help him run the show from the middle and then we can see the potential. As for Steward, his real test comes this Saturday but he looks ready. I would also want to see the Dombrandt and Simmons effect kicking in earlier. Jones has talked about a ‘line in the sand’ for 2023, hence no Vunipola brothers again. Fair enough so throw all the energy possible at the Springboks. They are running hot in training I have heard from an insider and want this game badly. Well, they are not invincible, as Australia proved twice in a row and that was all about playing fast and furious with plenty of risk. Running the legs off two front rows and some ageing back five has to be the only way. A fascinating day to come, and while in theory it’s a payback for the World Cup Final from an England perspective in reality we will surely get a glimpse of a new approach. Ireland has shown the way and if England can sustain it for 80 minutes then a remarkable result could be on the cards.