Anthony Watson is ready to savour what he expects to be the biggest physical challenge of his career on world rugby’s biggest stage.

The 21-year-old, who started his career five miles from Twickenham at London Irish’s former base on The Avenue, will start for England when they face Fiji in the opening clash of Rugby World Cup 2015 at rugby HQ.

The tournament is set to be the biggest rugby competition ever hosted on the planet with a record 2.3 million tickets sold set to help generate more than £150million surplus.

With 103 broadcasters screening live action in 205 territories the competition will catapult its participants onto the global stage like never before.

World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapaseet said: “England 2015 represents a golden opportunity to reach, engage and inspire new audiences across the UK and around the world.”

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper added: “We know it will be the biggest, but we hope it will be the best. It will certainly be a record breaker on many fronts.”

Watson’s and his England team-mates’ first task will be to go head-to-head with the exceptional talent of Fijian colossus Nemani Nadolo tonight.

The Bath speedster, a former student at St Goerge's College in Weybridge, reckons he has enjoyed tackling some flying “big boys” during his 10 months in the England jersey, which have showcased his own considerable abilities.

Yet he may have never come across anyone quite like the 19st 11lb, 6ft 4in Nadolo – Fiji’s answer to Jonah Lomu.

“It is something I look forward to. That is part and parcel of why a lot of us play rugby – that physical confrontation,” said Watson.

“Trying to impose my game on a player like that will be a massive challenge and an opportunity I would look forward to and try to take with both hands.”

Watson, described by his first coach as having the ability to sidestep you in a phone box, has scored four tries in his last three Tests.

And he keen is emulate boyhood inspiration and World Cup 2003 winner Jason Robinson.

“Of that team, I would say Jonny Wilkinson and Jason Robinson were the guys I really admired,” he added.

“Jonny, because of his work ethic, and Jason because of his ability to change the game pretty rapidly and because you expected something to happen every time he got the ball.

“He changed the game so quickly with his footwork. He was borderline unstoppable.”

England captain Chris Robshaw and fellow Harlequins Mike Brown and Joe Marler are also in the starting line-up for the biggest night if their careers, although scrum half Danny Care has missed out.

Many pundits are predicting a stern test to Pool A for Robshaw’s side with Nadolo providing the main attacking threat for the Pacific Islanders.

Victory would set England up for crunch clashes with Wales, Australia and Uruguay, while an unimaginable defeat would seriously damage hopes of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup on October 31.

One person will not be too fussed either way, providing her son comes through it unscathed.

“My mum isn’t a really big fan of rugby. She’s into tennis and snooker,” added Watson.

“I don’t really get it. It is more a case of her not wanting to see me get hurt, go into contact and stuff like that.

“She used to be a lot worse, she used to stay in the car in the car park at London Irish.

“It was wet and cold and she would read a book instead of watching the game. I think she has got better now.”

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