Isa Guha has covered a variety of platforms throughout his career
International rugby is a big game and, if it has a name, it will be called international rugby.
This is probably not the best way to describe England’s potential quarter-final opponents West Indies when the game kicks off at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
England have played well against most nations in this tournament and can boast one of the strongest squads available to them in the world.
But to win, they must be able to compete.
And, even with an obvious bulge in the West Indies’ 22, it is not the same team as the England they face here.
They are the world’s top ranked side and they are good enough to beat any England side.
Isa Guha, a former England scrum-half and commentator for the BBC, has covered the past 10 Tests and isn’t sure England’s pack will have the weight of expectation facing them on Saturday.
“In a sense they could be left in a very vulnerable position because they could have their own ambitions,” he told BBC Sport.
“England play the opposite game to us. They’ve been playing very well over the past two weeks – they’re busier than most teams – and the most encouraging thing about them is that there has been no hiccups with the ball or with getting the ball out of their own hands when England have struggled this tour.
“But they are not as close-knit as the West Indies and, sometimes, the correct approach to a game is to give them time to adjust or calm their emotions. That’s not why I play international rugby; it’s about team play and getting maximum results.”
And Guha is not sure the West Indies, who arrive in England with a squad of 55 players, will be able to play their style of rugby here in terms of aggression.
“England know they’re going to get exposed in the West Indies and they know they’ll have the players to try and break them down,” he added.
“They’ll have to cope with the running, getting out early and putting the pressure on to get four or five tries.Media playback is not supported on this device The tour of England’s matches was a challenge and a grind – England head coach Eddie Jones
“I’d hope the opposition would bring more of the physicality that they’ve demonstrated in their matches.
“But, in the words of a physiotherapist, ‘it’s not how fast you’re going, it’s how physical you are’. As long as England’s bodies are doing the most they can, they should be in control of the game and come out with good results.”
Ahead of England’s quarter-final against the hosts, Guha believes it is the responsibility of England to look at what they are capable of and to progress from quarter-final to semi-final so as to play in the final.
As long as England’s willingness to look at the positives for the benefit of the game remains, everything will remain a positive for the game.
It is the way that Guha has played, for England and the game. He was a scrum-half at Durham between 1978 and 1992, starting 11 times – one more than England captain Andrew Strauss in their only quarter-final and rarely having suffered a whitewash.
“I guess this is the template of the game, where England, the coach and the captain now look at what is on the other side of the ball and how they can improve,” Guha said.
“I am quite partial to playing rugby to a certain extent, because I love the physical nature of it.
“So to play rugby while being at that very high level, to see people struggle against a strong, heavy team is something I think you really enjoy playing in.
“I don’t think everyone can have that opportunity to play in the World Cup. But, for some players, that can be the only chance to get through to the semi-finals and hopefully win the tournament.”