Enough of the build-up, let's get to the footy

2:05 pm on 18 September 2015

OPINION: It may only be September, but it's already starting to feel a lot like Christmas in South West London.

A man jumps next to a statue outside Twickenham Stadium on the eve of the Rugby Union World Cup opening match.

A man jumps next to a statue outside Twickenham Stadium on the eve of the Rugby Union World Cup opening match. Photo: AFP

And it's not just because temperatures have already dropped to levels where it feels like snow could be on the cards (at least for this London newbie!).

As I've been wandering around the media centre at Twickenham, or standing on the sideline at the All Blacks training ground in Teddington, I've got that feeling of anticipation, a feeling normally associated with the week leading up to December.

Whether I'm speaking to tournament organisers, rugby players or just my mates from the New Zealand media who have assembled in the city, there's one common theme in every conversation - enough of the build up, let's get to the footy.

I get the feeling the All Blacks squad share my mindset and although they seem relaxed, there's no doubt they're sick of talking to the media about the hakarena, drones and squirrel hunting.

Twickenham is the home ground of English rugby.

Twickenham is the home ground of English rugby. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

It may not feel like it, but it's already been a month since most of the squad last took the field in that dominating Bledisloe Cup win over Australia and a lot's happened since.

In the same time period 50,000 people have signed a petition in support of Red Peak, Usain Bolt's won two World Championship gold medals and the Australians have got rid of a prime minister.

So the defending world champions can be forgiven for looking a little restless as they front the media each day, in what is starting to feel like the longest week ever before their first match on Sunday local time.

There will be live commentary of all of the Rugby World Cup Games in our dedicated Rugby World Cup section

Luckily for the rest of us, we don't have to wait that long and I've been counting down the sleeps until the day referee Jaco Peyper will blow his whistle at Twickenham, signalling the start of that first match between England and Fiji.

Ma'a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams stretch during a training session at the Lensbury Hotel in Teddington.

Ma'a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams stretch during a training session at the Lensbury Hotel in Teddington. Photo: AFP

Now that we're one day away my only hope, as I look at the English rain beating down out the window, is that the standard of rugby lives up to the hype and the next seven weeks feel like a Christmas gift rather than stocking full of coal.

Alex Coogan-Reeves is a seasoned sports journalist, rugby nut and globe trotter. He will be following all the action around the UK and giving those of us who are stuck here an insight into what 's going on over there.

Between the posts - Alex Coogan-Reeves

Between The Posts will run throughout the World Cup on radionz.co.nz

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