England and Wales prepare for Rugby World Cup semi-final showdowns

England and Wales are readying themselves in the rain for their Rugby World Cup semi-finals in Yokohama.

Eddie Jones' side face New Zealand on Saturday, while Warren Gatland's men will come up against South Africa a day later.

Rain has soaked the Japanese city, forcing England to delay their final training session after getting stuck in traffic and could make conditions tricky for handling the ball over the weekend.

England have never beaten New Zealand in a World Cup match, most famously getting torn about by Jonah Lomu in 1995.

Yokohama has suffered heavy rain. Credit: AP

Jones has taken inspiration from former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who he invited to speak with his England squad before the tournament, comparing the semi-final to United famously knocking Liverpool "off their perch".

"That's what we've got the opportunity to do. When you've been involved in rugby the country you want to knock off is New Zealand because they've been the best," Jones said.

"And the reason you're involved in this game is you want to be the best. You've got the opportunity to change rugby history on Saturday and the whole team is excited about it.

"It's going to be a great contest. Two heavyweights, one dressed in black, one dressed in white. You couldn't think of a better scenario."

  • ITV pundit Maggie Alphonsi discusses England's chances

It would be historic if England could win on Saturday in Yokohama, with kick-off at the bright and early time of 9am.

England were beaten 15-16 by New Zealand at Twickenham last year, something ITV pundit Maggie Alphonsi says will give them hope.

"I think from after what we saw in the November Test at Twickenham, England could have won that game," Alphonsi said.

"Effectively, if Courtney Lawes was onside and Sam Underhill didn't get his side disallowed, that would have been a different result."

  • Gareth Thomas talks about Wales' improved mentality

Meanwhile, on Sunday's semi-final, a victory for Wales would see them reach their first World Cup final.

"I think what this squad has got that most other Welsh squads have not had is belief... belief that they can win a World Cup," Gareth Thomas told ITV News.

"They deserve to be in a World Cup semi-final and they have a right to be there.

"So much in the past has been our lack of belief in where we can stand in the world order of rugby."

  • Jason and Angie Stagg sold their house before coming to Japan

Fans have made the pilgrimage from the UK to Yokohama in the hope of seeing their team reach the final.

England supporters Jason and Angie Stagg used the proceeds from their house sale to pay for their trip to Japan.

"As part of the money we made from the sale of the house, we decided that we would come out here for all the knockout games.

"We arrived just over a week ago and we're here until the final, so they've got to win!" Jason told ITV News.

James Reading in his pod. Credit: ITV News

They will be joined in the stands by James Reading from Oxford who quit his job to be in Japan.

To save money, James is staying in one of Japan's quintessential 'capsule' hotels, where a guest sleeps in a personal pod.

Plenty of sacrifices have been made by both the players and the fans to get to the World Cup semi-final in Japan, now they will just all be hoping it's worth.