Dan Farani tells Brian Dick why Samoa have a point to prove...
Insane levels of jingoism and hyperbole have managed to obscure the fact but two years ago England came very close to not winning the World Cup.
We all remember the nailbiting final, when Clive Woodward's team needed a swing of Jonny's golden boot to kick them to glory, but it has been conveniently forgotten that they nearly didn't even get there.
No one threatened to turn Woodward's dream into a nightmare quite as much as unheralded Pool C opponents Samoa. The Pacific Island side came within minutes of turning a routine pool game into the biggest upset in modern rugby.
Wilkinson's left foot was not so magical that day as it splurted penalties and drop goals all over Melbourne and allowed Samoa to hold a lead with less than a quarter of the match remaining.
The Red Rose managed to impose themselves in the last ten minutes and eventually prevailed 35-22 but every rugby fan in the world shed a tear for the brave losers.
On Saturday, the two sides meet for the first time since that October evening in the final autumn international and although the world rankings suggest another, even more comfortable, England victory, Twickenham will host 22 pumped-up Samoans with a point to prove.
One of those men will be Coventry No 8 Dan Farani, a strong running loose forward, who has put his difficulties getting into the first XV at Butts Park behind him and is in the process of cementing himself into his national team.
Farani's international career has only just begun - if selected he will win his fifth cap - and although he wasn't in the team that lost in Australia he hopes to be part of the one that settles the score.
"We have talked about what happened in the World Cup since we got together," Farani said. "We rose as a nation to a big challenge and, as our coach says, we were 15 minutes from rocking the world. We take confidence from the fact that we were beating them for an hour."
Much has changed since then. England have just four survivors from the team that played in the Telstra Dome while Samoa fielded just three in their last match with Scotland.
Farani made just his second start for Michael Jones' men in the unfamiliar position of blindside flanker at Murrayfield and the Samoans felt unlucky to lose 18-11. Samoa conceded a late try to the Scots - a move that Farani maintains contained a forward pass - and were left to rue what might have been.
"It was really disappointing," he said. "We felt that we had the better of them in many parts of the game but little mistakes let us down. "We expected Scotland to come at us but they were a bit standoffish, trying to offload in the tackle and things like that. By the time we realised we could have done a whole lot better, it was a little bit late."
He knows that England will be a lot better and therefore, so must Samoa be. There is very little chance that the fearsome English pack will be anything other than very, very direct.
Farani is not cowed. "There is no question of us being intimidated by the English pack," he said. "A lot of our boys have not even heard of those guys. They are just names on a team sheet to us.
"Being over here I see them play rugby a bit but most of our guys are from back home so they don't know who they are. We're in awe of nobody."
And in accordance with the pre-match positive thinking in which the underdogs must indulge, Farani is adamant that the size of the English octet will not cause them any problems.
"The bigger they are the better," he said. "It is pretty good for us. I don't mind physical confrontation and neither do any of the other boys. We'll just have to hit them a little bit harder - that's what Samoans like."
But similarly he doesn't expect it to be easy. England might have lost their last match but in most people's eyes they exceeded expectations against a New Zealand side that is being talked of with the same reverence as the legendary tourists of 1905 and 1978.
They subjected the All Blacks to a second-half onslaught that would have done for any other team in the past ten years.
Form or no form, Farani knows England at Twickenham is a mighty prospect. "They are the world champions. Everyone talks about how they have been below par for the last two years but they put in a good performance against the All Blacks," he said.
"From my point of view - just a rookie - at home they remain one of the hardest matches in world rugby."