ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Saturday Nov 11, 2017

RUGBYDUMP WEEKLY: Are the home nations ready?

The Autumn internationals kick-off today and it will be the first matches of the season for all four home nations. Shay Waterworth previews.

PUMPED PUMAS

England have never lost a Test match against Argentina in the history of international rugby, and the Pumas have lost their last six matches on the bounce including two at home to an inexperienced England touring squad in the Summer. All of this points towards a comfortable victory for England at Twickenham, but the home side must not take the result for granted.

Argentina head coach Daniel Hourcade has named an experienced side to play in London with Veteran Juan Martin Hernandez starting at fly half, while England are without the spine of the team; Billy Vunipola, Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje.

England will be confident knowing they won both games in Argentina with young, inexperienced players, but Argentina have selected seven new faces from the side who played in the second Test, and England have not played a game since then – five months without a Test.

This is therefore another opportunity for the likes of Sam Underhill and Henry Slade to announce themselves on the international stage, in front of a home crowd.

UNLUCKY 13?

It is well documented that Wales have lost their previous 12 Tests against Australia, but could it be unlucky number 13 for the Wallabies in Cardiff? Wales head coach Warren Gatland and his right-hand man Rob Howley have received criticism from every angle since returning from the Summer British and Irish Lions tour by players, fans and critics – but this match could be an opportunity to answer back.

Wales have named fly half Owen Williams at inside centre which suggests they want to move on from the ‘Warren ball’ tactics of Jamie Roberts crashing up in midfield. The use of a distributing 12 has been proven successful for England and in the past with Australia.

The Wallabies however, have been forced to move playmaker Kurtley Beale to full back in the absence of Israel Folau, leaving Samu Kerevi at inside centre – a notorious ball carrier. If Wales can cope defensively with Kerevi and centre partner Tevita Kuridrani running hard, then they should be able to unlock Australia out wide thorough the distribution of Williams and the running ability of Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams. 

SCOTTISH CONFIDENCE

Samoa has been in the news about various off-field issues surrounding finance, but its main problem is a lack of strength in depth leading up to the match against Scotland on Saturday. The Samoans have been forced to select full back Tim Nanai-Williams at fly half for the first time and they have Championship back rower Jack Lam at number eight.

The struggle continues for the Samoans when looking at Scotland’s lineup. The Scots have recalled Huw Jones, Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray to the side while captain John Barclay returns following a head injury. It is also the first match on home soil for head coach Gregor Townsend, who has put faith in Darryl Marfo at loosehead prop, get ready for some big carries.

DIRECT SPRINGBOKS

Ireland and South Africa have produced some exciting games in the past but the Springboks have set up to play through Ireland with an experienced pack and line-running centres. Head coach Allister Coetzee has recalled ‘The Beast’ to the front row along with experienced prop Coenie Oosthuizen, while Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager and Francois Louw are all amongst the starting lineup.

Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende are likely to run hard and direct at Ireland’s centres to keep the momentum moving for their heavy forwards, but it’s probably not high on Coetzee’s agenda to play a fast, free-flowing game against Ireland.

The Irish however, have selected in-form wingers Jacob Stockdale and Andrew Conway and welcomed back veteran Rob Kearney to complete the back three – a deadly counter attack.

The inclusion of Bundee Aki at inside centre may compensate for South Africa’s heavy runners in midfield, but if fly half Johnny Sexton decides to distribute the ball and play wide, South Africa may struggle to keep up with the pace – especially with their defensive frailties out wide.

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments




Related Articles

  • 222 WEEKS AGO

    scottish prop saves fire victim

  • 226 WEEKS AGO

    New Rugby X tournament insane

  • 253 WEEKS AGO

    Vunipola stands by his comments supporting...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    The dummy that sold the whole of Perth - including the cameraman

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Bayonne score 'one of the best tries you'll ever see' in latest match against Exeter

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Baloucoune shows Andy Farrell what he's missing as the winger tears through Harlequins defence

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Seriously impressive Courtney Lawes compilation released after England player calls time on international career

  • 19 WEEKS AGO

    Fiji number eight Viliame 'Bill' Mata scores audacious try

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    The sending off that rocked the Six Nations opener

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Wrecking ball beats 10 players to score full length of the pitch try

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    Streaker causes major bust up as he tackles player

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    Monster hit from Perrin leaves Bristol Bears player stunned

  • 15 WEEKS AGO

    Posolo Tuilagi's massive tackle lights up Top 14

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Wrecking ball beats 10 players to score full length of the pitch try

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Statement: Championship clubs fire back at RFU after 'flawed proposals' create rift

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    RFU proposes two-tier Premiership franchise to replace Championship despite huge opposition

  • 13 WEEKS AGO

    Compilation video shows Jamie George's surprising box of tricks

  • 19 WEEKS AGO

    Eddie Jones reported to have negotiated return to Japan national side

View All

Funnies

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Mike Philips recounts crazy night Shane Williams tried to fight Warren Gatland

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Shaun Edwards leaves room silent in new Six Nations documentary with French to English transition

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    Streaker causes major bust up as he tackles player

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Luke Cowan-Dickie left red faced after losing very costly bet

  • 18 WEEKS AGO

    Mack Hansen proves once again that he is a hero in Ireland

View All

Amateur

  • 59 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 59 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 82 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 82 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 82 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 1 DAY AGO

    What Tom Shanklin had to say about former teammate Gavin Henson

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Kinghorn returns to threaten England defence in Calcutta Cup

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Spencer and Lawrence to feature as multiple changes made to England line-up to face Scotland

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Mike Philips recounts crazy night Shane Williams tried to fight Warren Gatland

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Elliot Daly and Jamie George combine for contract announcement

View All