By News Team
Last Updated: 10th November 2021
After wins for England and Scotland in the first round of Autumn Internationals, there should be more fireworks this Saturday with some brilliant contests in prospect.
We preview the pick of this weekend’s action below.
England v Australia
As expected, Eddie Jones’s side eased past Tonga last weekend, with Jamie George, Jonny May and Ben Youngs scoring twice each in an 11 try rout, but they will face much more of a challenge when Australia come to town.
England look to hold the advantage though, as they boast a fine record in recent times against the Aussies, having won nine of their last 10 matches between the two teams. They are also boosted by the likely return of Captain Owen Farrell, who could start alongside his deputy against Tonga, Marcus Smith.
England come into this encounter as strong 2/9 favourites and given the free-scoring nature of their attack they might be prove too strong. The handicap stands at 12, which suggests Australia have something to find and their chances are not helped by the absence of winger Jordan Petaia, who sustained a tour ending injury at Murrayfield as well as knocks for props Allan Alaalatoa and Taniela Tupou. Dave Rennie’s side are underdogs in this contest and are 10/3 to record an unlikely victory at Twickenham.
Scotland v South Africa
Scotland will be full of confidence after their third straight win over Australia last weekend, which saw a sparkling debut from debutante hooker Ewan Ashman, who finished off a stunning move with an inch perfect dive in the corner. The depth of Gregor Townsend’s squad was clear, with his substitutes seeing the game out well in the nervy closing minutes to secure a 15-13 victory.
A more polished performance will be required against a South Africa side that beat Wales 23-18 last weekend. Ashman may drop out of the side as Scotland prepare to face the best pack in world rugby, with George Turner possibly returning to the squad alongside Stuart McInally. The Springboks come into the tie as heavy 2/5 favourites, as would be expected given they haven’t suffered defeat to the Scots in six matches, a run that stretches back to 2010.
However, they only managed to breach the Welsh defence once and as the handicap of 5 suggests this could be a close encounter. South Africa also gave away six penalties against Wales and with Scottish fly-half Finn Russell in fine form they may have to be more disciplined in Edinburgh. The Scots are 2/1 to record their fifth win in a row.
Ireland v New Zealand
Last Saturday, Ireland produced a brilliant display of slick rugby to thrash a dangerous opponent in Japan, with fullback Andrew Conway scoring a hattrick of tries as they cruised to a 60-5 victory.
Now they face a huge challenge of their credentials against a New Zealand side that has only been beaten once in their last 14 games. They disposed of Italy in emphatic fashion last weekend and before that they were in similarly devastating form when beating 6 Nations champions Wales. The All Blacks record against Ireland is also a daunting one, having only lost to Ireland twice in their 32 past meetings. News that scrum-half Aaron Smith will link up with the squad in Dublin further strengthens the All Blacks and they are the 1/4 favourites to silence the Aviva Stadium crowd once again.
Ireland will take confidence from the fact their two victories against New Zealand have come in their last four meetings and they are 3/1 to pull off what would be a minor shock, with the handicap standing at 10.