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|Rugby World Cup semi-finals|
|England v New ZealandSaturday, 26 October, 09:00 BST;Wales v South AfricaSunday, 27 October, 09:00 GMT|
|Coverage:Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app|
Autumn kicked in hard around Tokyo on Friday and with it came the rain – hammering down on roofs, blown in gusts against windows, sending people scurrying head-down into doorways and cafes and cabs.
A day to hunker down, a day for long and deep conversations over multiple coffees, to hold back energy for all that is to follow this weekend.
Tokyo is so vast that you should be able to lose all the thousands of rugby fans that have arrived for the two World Cup semi-finals, let alone the four teams and their twitchy, scheming coaches.
Yet all day you could see the little pockets around Shibuya, and Shinjuku, and Roppongi, talking these seismic games through, trying to burn through the hours until they finally begin.
World Cup semi-final week can feel like the stretched-out days before a Ryder Cup. Too much waiting, too much speculation.
- Halfpenny and Davies start for Wales
- Gatland dares to dream of World Cup glory
- ‘Real deal’ Jones can lift World Cup
- South Africa make one change with Kolbe out
- Parkes column: The Prince, the Lane Train and the semi-final
It happens because so much is at stake. England’s biggest game in 12 years, a chance not only to reach a fourth World Cup final but to bring down the sport’s great totems en route.
Wales with a second semi-final in three tournaments, battered and out of shape but still more capable of pulling something miraculous from nowhere than any other contender.
All the little details and sub-plots in the story settling in layers as the days drift by. You head out to Tokyo Bay and England’s hotel on the edge of Disneyland and you see George Ford and Owen Farrell, caps pull
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