Looking ahead to rugby union’s Autumn Internationals

Looking ahead to rugby union’s Autumn Internationals With the British and Irish Lions tour now done and dusted, attention is already starting to turn to the Autumn Internationals, taking on […]

Looking ahead to rugby union’s Autumn Internationals

With the British and Irish Lions tour now done and dusted, attention is already starting to turn to the Autumn Internationals, taking on a more familiar format after the Autumn Nations Cup which took place last year.

For 2021, the great southern hemisphere sides will be back in action against the home nations, and there is bound to be plenty of drama to look forward to when the matches get underway the end of October. With rugby fans already analysing the rugby union betting odds, let’s take a look at the home nations and their respective fixtures.

England
Following a catastrophic Six Nations campaign earlier this year, in which England finished fifth having won just two matches, there is pressure on Eddie Jones’ side to right a few wrongs as they head into the Autumn Internationals. With some strong English performances in the Lions’ team this summer, it would be no surprise to see England pull off some good results this autumn.

Their first match should prove a comfortable affair, with Tonga making the trip to Twickenham on November 6th. From there, England will face two tough tests against Australia and South Africa on November 13th and 20th respectively. There’s no doubt that the Lions tour will provide an analytical basepoint for Jones and his staff, and the England coach will be eyeing a hat-trick of victories to get his team back on track.

Ireland
After three successive third-place finishes in the Six Nations, and a quarter-final exit at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, it’s fair to say that Ireland have been neither here nor there in recent years. It was hoped that the team would kick on after their 2018 Grand Slam triumph, but results over the last few years have been mixed.

Head coach Andy Farrell will be hoping to find a spark this autumn, with Ireland kicking off their quartet of fixtures against the USA in Las Vegas on October 30th. They return home to face Japan, New Zealand and Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, and the clash with the All Blacks is the standout tie. Ireland recorded a memorable win over New Zealand in Dublin in 2018, but were then dumped out of the World Cup by the All Blacks a year later. It’s set to be a night to remember.

Wales
Brimming with confidence after winning the Six Nations earlier in the year, Wales might well fancy their chances of claiming some big victories in the Autumn Internationals. They have some tricky ties lined up, with fixtures against New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia, but Wayne Pivac’s side will fear no-one. Few expected them to come anywhere close to winning the Six Nations in the spring, and Wales will be hoping to channel that same team spirit into their autumn fixtures.

Scotland
Beating England and finishing above them in the Six Nations will have brought great satisfaction to Scotland’s supporters, and they’d be dancing for joy if they could pull off a big scalp in the Autumn Internationals. They’ll face Tonga, Australia, South Africa and Japan, and they’ll be eyeing those two matches against the Wallabies and the Springboks as a chance to cause a stir.

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