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'England will want a slick performance' writes Steve Scott ahead of Tonga Rugby World Cup match

England's Billy Vunipola (centre) during the International Friendly at The Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Credit: PA

From the scorching south to the distinctly autumnal north; when England’s players landed in Sapporo they must have wondered what all their high humidity training has been about.

But in this part of Japan you really can’t predict what type of weather you’re going to get at this time of year - today it was rain and plenty of it.

You can be sure of conditions come match-time though and that’s because the game against Tonga will be played indoors at the Saporro dome.

The Sapporo Dome has now been transformed to include a rugby pitch for the Rugby World Cup. Credit: ITV News

The last time it was the centre of English attention was in 2002 when a David Beckham penalty beat Argentina in the football World Cup.

It’s now mainly a baseball stadium which also hosts football matches, so an army of staff wheel out a different surface depending on which of the two sports is to be played there next; the rugby pitch is already in place here.

England's David Beckham scores the opening goal from the penalty spot during the 2002 World Cup against Argentina at the Sapporo Dome in 2002. Credit: PA

For England supporters several local delicacies await.

Sapporo is the birthplace of Japanese lager beer, so they’ll instantly feel at home.

Curry soup with noodles is another local favourite, as are the region’s king crabs.

The Nijo fish market offers up all types of new experiences for the English palate, from giant squid tentacles to sea urchins, but its speciality is very definitely crab.

Saporro's king crabs are a local favourite. Credit: ITV News

Any first game in a major tournament is intriguing but this one is especially so. Tonga are a strong, uncompromising opponent.

England will want a slick performance and to win comfortably but, given the Tongan’s brutal reputation, they’ll also want to escape without injury to any key players.

The squad itself is just keen to get up and running.

They’ve been together a while now and the first match can’t come soon enough.

England fans can expect to see various delicacies at the Nijo fish market in Sapporo. Credit: ITV News

It will be an emotional match for Billy Vunipola especially, whether he plays or not.

He is of course of Tongan heritage, so Sunday will be special.

He remembers as a young boy cheering on his father, a former Tongan captain, in a match against England.

One of the so-called Tier Two nations is bound to pull off a shock result over the next few weeks.

England Manager Eddie Jones ahead of the International Friendly at The Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Credit: PA

No one knows that better than Eddie Jones who, as head coach of Japan, beat the South Africans in the world cup four years ago.

Sunday will provide him with a balancing act.

It’s unlikely Jones will start with his first choice team but he’ll not want to gamble too much either.

Whoever he chooses though, England should start their campaign with a convincing victory and not flirt with joining the 2015 Springboks, in rugby’s World Cup hall of shame.