Whereas the Springboks are chasing a third world title, having previously won the tournament in 1995 and 2007, the English are looking to add to their 2003 success as the only northern hemisphere country to have ever lifted the Webb Ellis Cup.
Eddie Jones’ side head into the encounter as marginal favourites, having delivered what has been described as one of the all-time great World Cup performances to beat reigning champions New Zealand 19-7 in the semi-finals.
South Africa in contrast, came through a gritty arm wrestle with Wales, winning 19-16, to book their place in the last two.
It’s not just immortality and glory on offer in today’s final but the promise of some handsome-looking bonuses. Here, we take you through the breakdown of what England are set to earn by emerging victorious in Japan.
How does the bonus system work?
The respective associations, in this case the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and South African Rugby Union (SARU), determine the bonuses provided to players on account of their performances at the tournament.
As for World Rugby, the organisation will pay out just £325,000 to the winning side, which equates to £10,000 per player.
How much will the RFU dish out should England win?
According to The Telegraph, the RFU has put together a jackpot of more than £6m that will be shared among the squad, including coaches, if Jones’ men walk away from today’s final as victors. That’s £220,000 per player – the largest financial incentive of any team in the history of the Rugby World Cup.
The Telegraph adds that the RFU decided against taking out an insurance policy to cover extra pay-outs on top of the match fees for the pool stages. This means that the cash-strapped governing body will find itself out of pocket in the short term if England win.
What about the Springboks?
Details around South Africa’s bonus structure haven’t been reported thus far.
For some context, the New Zealand Herald claimed before the tournament that New Zealand’s players were due to receive £119,000 if they defended their crown and £28,000 if they made it to the final. Naturally, the All Blacks won’t be picking up those bonuses this time around.
How much have England earned so far?
Each player, regardless of whether or not they featured in the match-day squads, was paid £13,000 each for the pool stages, including the match with France that was cancelled due to the threat of Typhoon Hagibis.
The victory over New Zealand is said to have triggered a bonus payment of more than £1.2m – around £41,200 per player.