For the next four Saturdays, starting on the 3rd November 2018 and going through until the 24th November, England’s Rugby Union team will take on four tough opponents in the four-match Autumn International series, the last chance for the team to prepare for the forthcoming Six Nations tournament which starts in the New Year.

However, they are not the only Six Nations team that will be in action over this period, as Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and France will also be playing a number of games across the four weeks of action. They will of course be joined by a host of teams from around the world, including southern hemisphere giants South Africa, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand, as well as emerging teams such as Tonga, Fiji, Japan, USA and Georgia.

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To round things off on the 1st December, there will be a Barbarians game against Argentina at Twickenham in what promises to be an interesting matchup to complete the series.

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The full list of Autumn International fixtures is outlined below.

Saturday 3rd November 2018

  • 45am – Japan v New Zealand (Tokyo)
  • 45pm – Wales v Scotland (Cardiff)
  • 3pm – England v South Africa (Twickenham)
  • 8pm – Ireland v Italy (Chicago)

Saturday 10th November 2018

  • 2pm – Italy v Georgia (Florence)
  • 30pm – Scotland v Fiji (Edinburgh)
  • 3pm – England v New Zealand (Twickenham)
  • 20pm – Wales v Australia (Cardiff)
  • 30pm – Ireland v Argentina (Dublin)
  • 05pm – France v South Africa (Paris)

Saturday 17th November 2018

  • 2pm – Italy v Australia (Padua)
  • 30pm – Wales v Tonga (Cardiff)
  • 3pm – England v Japan (Twickenham)
  • 20pm – Scotland v South Africa (Edinburgh)
  • 7pm – Ireland v New Zealand (Dublin)
  • 05pm – France v Argentina (Lille)

Saturday 24th November 2018

  • 2pm – Italy v New Zealand (Rome)
  • 30pm – Scotland v Argentina (Edinburgh)
  • 3pm – England v Australia (Twickenham)
  • 20pm – Wales v South Africa (Cardiff)
  • 30pm – Ireland v USA (Dublin)
  • 05pm – France v Fiji (Paris)

Saturday 1st December 2018

  • 30pm – Barbarians v Argentina (Twickenham)

The series will allow a wide range of teams from around the globe to pit themselves against the best teams from the northern and southern hemispheres throughout the autumn and will serve as a warm up for the half dozen Six Nations teams ahead of the start of that competition, which gets underway in the New Year.

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Eddie Jones’ team face a tough run of matches over the four weeks, taking on all of the big three southern hemisphere teams, plus Japan, in what is going to be a real test for England.  They begin with a tough test against South Africa, a team that recently beat New Zealand and pushed them hard in the last Tri Nations. They then take on New Zealand in what promises to be the biggest test for the team.

Japan will be the third opponent and will likely offer England their best chance of a victory in this tough run of games, before they then take on Australia in what will be another brutal clash between the old adversaries, although it is fair to say that this isn’t the strongest Australian team England will have faced in recent times.

Injuries, a lack of form or omission by the manager have kept some notable names out of the England squad for these tests and it will be interesting to see how the team plays in what should be an extremely tough run of matches.

England Tips

  • England v South Africa – Lose
  • England v New Zealand – Lose
  • England v Japan – Win
  • England v Australia – Win

Wales

With games against Scotland, Australia, Tonga and South Africa, Wales should be confident of getting at least a couple of wins from these games. Facing Scotland at home is a big plus for the Welsh and though this squad isn’t perhaps the quality of some of the previous Welsh teams of recent times, it is still good enough to give any team a match on home soil.

As such, I think Wales will certainly take wins against Scotland and Tonga in their first and third games but they will find things much more difficult against Australia and South Africa in their other two.

With Warren Gatland likely to return to manage the team against Scotland after the death of his father, this new look Wales time has plenty to prove, with players like Luke Morgan, Jonah Holmes and Jarrod Evans all given chances to stake a regular place in the team.

Wales Tips

  • Wales v Scotland – Win
  • Wales v Australia – Lose
  • Wales v Tonga – Win
  • Wales v South Africa – Lose

Scotland

With injuries to Matt Scott and Sam Johnson, Harlequins back James Lang has been drafted into the Scotland squad for their Autumn International series which will see the Scots face Wales on the road, before three home games against Fiji, South Africa and Argentina.

After many years in the Six Nations doldrums, the Scots had a much better tournament last time around, finishing third ahead of France and England, behind Wales in second spot and well adrift of the Grand Slam winners Ireland.  The breakthrough performance was a win on home soil over France which was then followed with a fantastic 25-13 victory over England, defeat in Ireland followed before Scotland ran out winners in Italy in what was a tight game.

The key now for the Scots manager Gregor Townsend is to cement that improvement in performance in the Autumn but this is a tough run of games for the Scots and in truth, I think they will do well to come out of it with a single win to their name.

Scotland Tips

  • Wales v Scotland – Lose
  • Scotland v Fiji – Win
  • Scotland v South Africa – Lose
  • Scotland v Argentina – Lose

Ireland

Joe Schmidt has had a massive influence on the Irish team since taking over and he led the team to a superb Grand Slam in the 2018 Six Nations tournament. Not only that, the Irish have also earned some big wins over Southern Hemisphere teams in recent years.

In the 2017-2018 season, Ireland earned wins over South Africa, Fiji and Argentina, before securing the Six Nations Grand Slam and they then defeated Australia 2-1 in a three-test series in Australia to finish the year as the second ranked team in World Rugby, behind World Champions New Zealand.

Irish rugby has been on the rise since their stunning 40-29 win over New Zealand in Chicago back in November 2016 and they are now the top Northern Hemisphere team and perhaps the only team equipped, as things stand, to really challenge both South Africa and New Zealand at the World Cup in 2019.

As such, I would expect them to make a strong case for that over the Autumn Internationals as my tips below do show.

Ireland Tips

  • Ireland v Italy – Win
  • Ireland v Argentina – Win
  • Ireland v New Zealand – Win
  • Ireland v USA – Win