Rowing: Mahe Drysdale and Robbie Manson set to square off for world champs berth

Manson and Drysdale.
Manson and Drysdale. Photo credit: Photosport

It's been dubbed D-Day for double Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale and World Record holder Robbie Manson on Sunday (NZ time) in the final of the World Cup in Lucerne.

The winner's set to claim the sole seat at the World Championships in September.

But one of New Zealand's greatest rowers, Rob Waddell, is warning the duo of underestimating the rest of the field.

Manson's thrilling comeback win at the second World Cup meet in Austria last month was described as one of the best races of the year, but Drysdale isn't too concerned.

"It certainly wasn't anything I sort of looked at and thought 'I can't match that', so that was pretty good," Drysdale told Newshub.

Sculling great Waddell believes Drysdale has a bigger battle on his hands than just beating Manson.

"You'll have one finish ahead of the other but you've got to make the final, and that's not a given with the standard of the field," Waddell said.

"You've got a depth in the single sculls squad which is as good, if not better, than anything I've ever seen before.

Drysdale agrees, well aware of what stands ahead of him.

"It's not going to be easy. I have to find some of my best form if I'm going to be where I need to be this weekend.

But after an injury-plagued comeback, Drysdale finally saw a glimpse of his old form last weekend in Henley.

"It's very last minute. I would've liked to find this speed about six weeks ago."

It was the confidence boost he needed to rediscover the mental edge that will be so crucial against this weekend's opponents.

Now he needs three good races in three days to set up a Sunday showdown with Robbie Manson.

A winner-take-all ticket to September's world champs.