Dubai: The anxious and optimistic rugby fans from England and South Africa were out in force in Dubai early on Saturday in anticipation of the World Cup final taking place in Japan.
The Crown & Lion at Byblos Hotel in Barsha Heights seemed to be the place to go as there was not a free seat in the house well over an hour before kick-off.
Eddie Jones’ men take on Rassie Erasmus’ South African’s in Yokohama, and “nervous” seemed to be the key word among the faithful of both sides’ supporters.
“I don’t know if I am nervous or terrified,” said Matt, 36, wearing his white shirt with the red rose of England.
His friend David, 33, was more bullish: It’s gonna be an annihilation,” he said of the Owen Farrell-led English team.
South Africa fans were also out in their numbers, and Carsten, 52, said: “I’m super nervous. It doesn’t happen every day. I’m hoping 12 years ago will repeat itself and South Africa lift the Cup.”
Andre, 49, another Springboks fan, added: I’m extremely nervous but I think we will win 15-9.”
His fellow supporter, Don, 44, predicted: “35-12. It’s in the bag, but that doesn’t stop me being nervous.”
The game kicks off at 1pm.