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The Autumn Internationals are back!

2021 Autumn Internationals

A New Era Emerging

Saturday November 6th is when the gates of Twickenham will open for England’s opening Autumn International against Tonga. The Autumn Nations Cup covered the difficult 2020, pandemic struck season but we are back to the original format that we all know and love. The last meeting between England and Tonga was in a pool match in the 2019 World Cup, ending up in a mauling of Tonga, as England overcame them with a 35-3 win. The two sides have only met 3 times with England maintaining a 100% record against Tonga.

With the Autumn internationals at Twickenham approaching, there will be many rugby fans who feel a new era of players need to be introduced. With Australia and South Africa proving significantly difficult challenges, it will be an ideal scenario to test some of the emerging England players.

One of the players who has been knocking on the door for England, is Harlequins Number 8 Alex Dombrandt. Dombrandt forced his way into England’s training squad for the 2019 World Cup but narrowly missed out on a spot in the final squad. Eddie Jones believes we haven’t seen the best of Alex yet. He stated, there is no limit on where he can go as a player because he’s got some special skills. (https://www.planetrugby.com/no-limit-to-number-eight-alex-dombrandt-potential-says-england-head-coach-eddie-jones-ahead-of-international-rugby-test-against-canada/)

 

2019 Rugby World Cup Reminder

The 2019 Rugby World Cup final was a game that many Rugby fans across the globe were anticipating. England’s last hurdle to becoming World Champions was to overcome the challenge of the Springboks. With an encouraging triumph over the All blacks in the semi-final, England went into the final with the belief they could get past a tricky South Africa side and lift the World Cup trophy come the end of a gruelling 80 minutes.

Owen Farrell led out a particularly relaxed England side under the lights at a full Nissan stadium in Yokohama, Japan. National anthems sung, nicety’s out the way, it was time for these two teams to go to war. South Africa got proceedings under way with a huge kick from Handre Pollard. It took South Africa 10 minutes to get their first points on the board. A sloppy penalty given away by England allowed South Africa a kick at goal, which a sharp shooting Pollard took professionally. After England taking a battering in the first 20 minutes, nerves were settled as Farrell converted a much-needed penalty. After a back and forth of penalty conversions, something had to give. The score was 12-6 in the favor of the Springboks going into half time.

Eddie Jones needed to rally his England troops and give them the belief and desire that they could overcome the well-organized South African’s. As the clock hit 60 minutes South Africa led 18-12, then came the decisive moment. A string of clever passes led to pacey winger Makazole Mapimpi breaking the England line and scoring the first try of the final. It was always going to be an uphill battle for England from here. To pour salt into England wound’s, South Africa yet again broke past a helpless England line to glide over the try line making it 32-12. South Africa had made it their third Rugby World Cup win. England will look to avenge their loss to South Africa on 20th November as they take them on in their last Autumn International of 2021.

The question since then is how will England bounce back from this and who do we look to now?

 

Six Nations Reminder

Since 1882 the Six nations as we know it today originally started out as ‘The home nations’. France joined England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland in 1910 to make it the 5 nations, with Italy completing the 6 nations in 200.

The Six Nations is a staple in the sporting calendar and continues to produce excitement, unpredictability and quality Rugby, year after year. England’s Six Nations campaign kicks off at Murrayfield where they face an ever-improving Scotland side. It’s not till February 26th that England play their first match at Twickenham. The roar around an expected sell-out crowd at the home of Rugby will hopefully give England that extra push to get over the line against current holders Wales.

Last year’s Six Nations was nothing short of disappointing from an England perspective. After 2020’s first placed finish, England plummeted to finishing 5th in 2021. England started their campaign by losing narrowly to an ever-improving Scotland side at Twickenham. Win’s came against Italy and France, with loses to the other two nations.

The expectation going into the 2022 Six Nations is much greater, with new talent emerging, dead wood offloaded and a confident Eddie Jones, who knows the heights England can reach.

Never miss a moment at Twickenham this Autumn. Availability for hospitality at Twickenham is always limited, but please enquire below for the possibility of attending the much-anticipated England fixtures.

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England Set For Awesome Autumn

Autumn International

England’s Autumn International programme will see them host Argentina, Australia and Samoa in three vital games as they build towards the next World Cup.

Despite their unbeaten run ending in Dublin, English rugby remains in rude health. A hugely successful last 18 months and a seriously impressive, against-the-odds series win in Argentina this summer means fans will be expecting nothing less than three home wins this November.

The hardest part for Eddie Jones will be picking his squad, as the returning Lions and injured players unavailable for the successful trip to Argentina numbered around 30.

With Jones set on unearthing a couple of young gems before the squad heads to Japan, expect plenty of young talent on show and plenty of old heads fighting to keep their jersies.

It should mean fans are in for some scintillating rugby, so, with that prospect in mind we cast our eye over the Autumn’s opposition.

Argentina

Despite already losing over half his squad to the Lions, Eddie Jones ignored several seasoned international players and headed to Argentina last month with what was little more than a development squad.

Two wins from two against a full-strength Argentina seemed to confirm that Los Puma’s star is very much on the wane.

It was widely expected that Argentina effectively now playing in Super Rugby as Los Jaguares would result in a very well-gelled team who would achieve further success on the international scene, but that hasn’t happened.

Perhaps the lack of challenging new ideas and noticeable step up in quality of teammates that joining a national squad usually brings has resulted in a comfort zone for the players.  What’s clear is that something needs to change.

The loss to a 14-man England at Twickenham last year and last month’s humiliation at home will mean Argentina will be wounded and unfancied in equal measures, a combination that used to serve them very well.

Expect a full-blooded test match, with both teams desperate for a win again a side they’ll share the same group with in Japan.

Australia

The Aussies’ recent home loss to Scotland, combined with their defeats in Dublin and London last Autumn, suggests they are undergoing a transition, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security.

Australia have a habit of unearthing talent that quickly takes to international rugby and their pride will demand revenge for their four straight defeats at the hands of England. With those tests all going down to the wire, they will fancy their chances of causing an upset at HQ.

Samoa

Samoa, though still achieving international success, are not currently showing the form that saw once them regularly claim the scapls of bigger rugby nations.

That reason alone may tempt Eddie Jones to throw a few more young bolters into the mix and that, against a side always fully committed and dripping with natural talent, could make for the most open and thrilling match of the series.

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