Author: Paul Reece
Published: 12:18 05/09/2014
England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales will continue their 2015 World Cup preparations with a series of Autumn international’s this November.
The quartet, will all have one eye on next September’s World Cup when they welcome their Southern Hemisphere opponents to Europe. With Australia, New Zealand and South Africa being joined by the likes of Fiji, Samoa, Argentina and Tonga, all four of the six nation sides will hope to improve on their poor recent performances against the top three.
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History would suggest that the smart money would be on wins for the Aussies, New Zealand and South Africa. The trio all have superior records over their British rivals and there is not a lot to suggest that will change this year.
England were well beaten during their June tour of New Zealand, losing all three matches and have won just one of the last 14 meetings between the two sides. While their record against the Springbok’s is similarly poor with the South African’s undefeated since 2006, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings.
The Red & Whites will fancy their chances against Australia, however, with three wins from the last four meetings. And with the Wallabies joining England, Wales and Fiji in Pool A in next September’s World Cup it will be an important encounter between the two nations.
The Aussies also face Wales in November and will be hoping to build on their impressive record against the Welsh. Warren Gatland’s men have lost the last nine meetings between the two nations. Three of the last four encounters, however, have all been won by two points or less which will undoubtedly give the Dragons confidence.
The 2012 and 2013 Six Nations Championship winners, meanwhile, have not defeated New Zealand since 1953. The All Blacks, who are also undefeated in 29 matches with Scotland, will be disappointed with no less than three wins against England, Scotland and Wales.
While South Africa have won their last two matches against Ireland following three straight defeats between 2004-2009. And the Welsh’s record against the Springboks is no better than their record against New Zealand.
The Dragon’s only victory against the South African’s came back in 1999 and they have lost 27 of the 29 encounters between the two sides. So history is definitely not on the side of England, Scotland, Wales or Ireland.
The four nations will all want to improve on their poor records against the World’s top three. England and Ireland have decent records against Australia and South Africa, respectively but the duo will still need to be at their best to get a result this Autumn.
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