This week has been the largest of England Rugby's lives, I say England Rugby as a collective for the pressure weighs as heavily on the coaching staff as it does the players. Last Saturday night's defeat has left England in the most challenging situation of all, as we all know they have eighty minutes to secure their place in a home Rugby World Cup otherwise it is game over.
There is no questioning the fact that great adversity has the ability to bring out the best in individuals and show the true depth and strength of their characters and I believe that this is what has happened at Pennyhill Park this week and will manifest itself on Saturday night.
After such a destructive defeat the players could have crumbled and could have felt extremely sorry for themselves. As much as individuals can put on a front, it would have been seen through during their media sessions for even the best of actors cannot hide something like that. However from my position, at these sessions, the resilience and is deep rooted and instills me with confidence that this England Rugby side will stand up against Australia.
"As a group it's brought us even closer together," said Chris Robshaw. "There's been a better understanding. It's that backs very much to the wall kind of attitude. We've got to go out there for a must-win game - there's no other alternative, it's as simple as that. And when you know that, it brings something out of the guys, doesn't it?"
That 'something' will not be clearly evident to us all until the test match unfolds however from what I have seen I believe that Chris' words are not just a smokescreen to hide a cowering or nervous team. Alongside Chris, Stuart Lancaster highlighted how much can occur between fixtures that are seven days apart and he knows full well that this weekend is about the team thriving instead of freezing or imploding due to the magnitude of what they are facing;
"The old analogy 'that a week is a long time in sport' is absolutely true in this case. The focus and preparation has been excellent but it's high stakes, isn't it? I can't think of many other times in any other sport where it's been like this for this game."
"Games at this level are decided by very small margins but we don't want to come off with any regrets having not had a crack. The message to the players is to make sure you fire some shots, you can't sit and think what if at the end of the game."
On Friday, after England's Captain's Run Graham Rowntree articulated that 'composure' will be one of the elements that secures England this test match. England's Forwards Coach openly shared that he 'envies' his players, wanting to be back out there himself and his overarching message is a simple one;
"It is all about what you do under pressure and that is what we have spoken about, extreme composure, sticking to the plan and to doing your role."
Ultimately if, from one to twenty three, England's players perform their roles with composure then there is no reason why they should not win a test match against Australia, the Wallabies are a world-class side however so are England. England must prove once and for all that they have the ability to listen to the referee and that they can keep their discipline when it matters most.
The only certainly that we know prior to kick off is that Chris Robshaw and his side will not leave anything out there on Saturday night. They will throw everything at this test match, on the largest of stages it is fight or flight on the largest of stages as knockout rugby arrives at Twickenham Stadium.