This World Cup needs England to survive their pool. If they don't, a little piece of this tournament will die and with it some of the ground the game has been made in establishing itself as mainstream will be lost.
What's been clear at this World Cup is that rugby has become big business. For a sport that was amateur 20 years ago, it has made phenomenal strides in establishing the biggest names as major celebrities.
Rugby, against the odds, has become a marketing dream. There's a sense of much of middle-class England having had enough of the self-absorbed, culture of me that football rams down everyone's throat.
The biggest feature of this World Cup has been the way international brands are piling in: seeing the chance they have to reach to not only reach the affluent, but to make a deep connection with them.
Rugby is the perfect fit - it's culture of team first, of humility, of honour and integrity are easy to sponsor.
Perhaps, too, there is a little glamour wrapped up in the individuals. A manly ruggedness and muscularity that makes a welcome antidote to the less robust physiques and attitudes that prevail among the world's top footballers.
In a way that never seemed possible 20 years ago, rugby has huge profile. It has recognisable stars. It has personality, it has celebrity endorsement and right now, it has a huge audience hooked.
The organisers perhaps took a risk choosing to take games to iconic football grounds: huge venues that would look cavernous if they were even three-quarters full.
But it has been a stroke of genius. Villa Park was full two days on the trot and on the first, it could easily have passed itself off Ellis Park. "When we were lining up to sing the anthems I thought far out, 'are we in Africa'," said Samoan hooker Motu Matu'u.
And who would ever have thought Ireland versus Romania would sell out Wembley and create a new record for a World Cup crowd.
The surge the game is enjoying is unprecedented and the morning after England lost to Wales, there wasn't a front page that had anything else on it: the talk, from Newcastle to Brighton, was about the decision by England captain Chris Robshaw not to kick for goal in the last minute.
Everyone's been gripped it seems and England has become a little like New Zealand in that rugby is the go-to small talk.
But England are hanging on by a thread at their own tournament. That's thrust rugby even higher up the agenda: the dram and tension that scenario has created is almost unbearable.
England are rallying around the team. They will stand by their men this week, use all their resource as host to will them past Australia. So for one more guaranteed week, England will be obsessed with rugby.
What, though, if Australia win and the unthinkable happens and England are eliminated? A dead game against Uruguay to finish off in shame and then what? Will big brands still want to clamber all over the sport?
Will Robshaw, who is the face of so many campaigns at the moment, be quickly dumped?
Tickets are all but sold out for the knock-out games but how many have been bought in anticipation of England being there? Will thousands flood back onto the market if they aren't?
And what about corporate hospitality - already reported to be significantly better than the figures achieved for the 2012 Olympics - will a few mean-spirited corporates suddenly pull the pin and back out? Do they really want to entertain clients if Wales are playing Ireland in the semifinal?
It's a tough one. There hasn't been much love for the England rugby team over the years and there's no point in pretending that neutrals all over the world weren't cheering as hard as the Welsh when Dan Biggar landed his winning penalty.
There's a bigger picture here, though, and it needs England in it.
- Gregor Paul in Birmingham