It’s that time of year again when the rugby union world starts to get excited about the prospect of some exciting games to fill the empty space between Halloween and Christmas. The Autumn Internationals (historically) have been a battle of Northern Hemisphere vs Southern Hemisphere, with many using it as a barometer for performance in both the Six Nations and World Cups. As many of you may know, the World Cup in 2019 is in Japan, and the question really is, can anyone knock the All-Blacks off their perch? This year’s Autumn Internationals have some really intriguing clashes, so we've also got two bonus posts coming up summarising the teams for you and their recent form, as well as a post focusing on the key players so you can get as excited as us about it!
So disappointingly, England will not be getting their shot at taking down the All Blacks, but there are some mouth-watering games for purists and new fans alike this Autumn. England will be looking to assert their dominance over Argentina after the wins this summer and make a statement against Australia. Wales have perhaps the toughest set of games, including what should be a blistering opening game against Australia, followed by Georgia, New Zealand and finishing with South Africa. Beating the three top Southern Hemisphere sides will be a huge challenge for Gatland’s men, and it will be intriguing to see how they perform.
France, notoriously New Zealand’s ‘stumbling block’ will be playing the All Blacks twice in 5 days, which will make for an interesting mini-series, followed by a re-run of the summer tests against South Africa. With this tight turnaround, France may struggle to record any wins until they face Japan on the 25th November. It is exciting to see Japan and Georgia join the fray, with Japan looking to benchmark their performances before hosting the World Cup, with the France game in particular one they will be looking to target to win.
Ireland will be treating themselves to a number of bruising games against Argentina, Fiji and South Africa and would expect to win at least 2 out of 3 of these games. Likewise, South Africa will be looking to put their mixed year behind them and finish well against France, Italy and Wales. Australia have been brilliant in patches and with a line-up of Scotland, England and Wales having already dispatched Japan, Australia will fancy their chances of winning at least two games this year, but Wales could upset them early on.
We will also have some awesome experiential activity on Queen St, Cardiff on 25th November, where the fastest passes make it onto our leaderboard and the top 10 every hour can win some awesome prizes as well as the top 10 overall passes on the day. AND we're giving away tickets to the Wales x South Africa match on the 2nd! Finally, Under Armour are boosting their discount every weekend until Dec 2nd to celebrate each Wales match!
Games and times
The important bit! Many games are being shown on Sky Sports, others are on terrestrial television, so make sure you check in advance. The times and fixtures are as follows, we’ve highlighted our favourites for a real grudge match or spectacle so check them out! Also, stay tuned for our weekly review of the games.
Saturday 11th November 2017
Italy v Fiji - Kick off: 2:00pm
Scotland v Samoa - Kick off: 2:30pm
England v Argentina - Kick off: 3:00pm
Wales v Australia - Kick off: 5:15pm
Ireland v South Africa - Kick off: 5:30pm
France v New Zealand - Kick off: 7:45pm
Tuesday 14th November 2017
France v New Zealand - Kick off: 6:30pm
Saturday 18th November 2017
Italy v Argentina - Kick off: 2:00pm
Wales v Georgia - Kick off: 2:30pm
England v Australia - Kick off: 3:00pm
Scotland v New Zealand - Kick off: 5:15pm
Ireland v Fiji - Kick off: 5:30pm
France v South Africa - Kick off: 7:45pm
Saturday 25th November 2017
Italy v South Africa - Kick off: 2:00pm
Scotland v Australia - Kick off: 2:30pm
England v Samoa - Kick off: 3:00pm
Wales v New Zealand - Kick off: 5:15pm
Ireland v Argentina - Kick off: 5:30pm
France v Japan - Kick off: 7:45pm
Saturday 2nd December 2017
Wales v South Africa - Kick off: 2:30pm
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