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The Covid pandemic meant that the traditional 2020 Autumn Internationals in the British & Irish Isles, against the might of the southern hemisphere, was cancelled and replaced with the Autumn Nations Cup, played behind closed doors. We, therefore, look forward enormously to the 2021 Autumn Internationals, when we can once again look ahead to the southern hemisphere teams providing the biggest challenge in rugby union for the home nations. The Rugby Union autumn international series of games is one of the major sporting highlights of November.
The series is often a good indicator of form for the upcoming 2022 Guinness Six Nations in February and March, and the games will be a welcome addition to the year’s sporting calendar. Many fans will be eager to see rugby powerhouses from New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa once more playing in Europe’s premier rugby union stadiums.
England will play three matches as part of their Autumn International series at Twickenham Stadium. The first opponents are now confirmed as Tonga, which will no doubt prove an interesting challenge following their latest clash during Rugby World Cup 2019.
England will also play Australia for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Japan. England was victorious with a commanding 40-16 win and will be hopeful of their chances this time around.
In the final game of the series, England will face world champions, South Africa, for a grudge match, their first meeting since the Springboks beat England 32-12 at the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final. England will feel they have the upper hand at Twickenham Stadium, and we are anticipating a classic encounter.
Wales have now confirmed their Autumn International plans at Principality Stadium, with a total of four fixtures against some of the best teams in the Southern Hemisphere. First up is New Zealand who will provide a punishing test right out of the gate on Saturday 30th October.
Next up, Wales will take on Rugby World Cup 2019 winners South Africa in a rematch of the semi-final in Japan, this will be a highlight of the rugby calendar for sure. Fiji then heads to Cardiff on the third weekend, and while not a sure thing Wales are no doubt confident of a victory.
Finally, Wales face Australia after two years apart. Wales will be aiming for a third successive victory in a row, but this is always a close fought fixture, and anything could happen.
Scotland has four (initially three) fixtures set for their Autumn International campaign at BT Murrayfield Stadium. The first of which is against Tonga, which was added late in the game to extend the series.
The second is against Australia, who has traditionally performed well against the Scots, though the last few encounters have seen Australia on the back foot.
Scotland then faces current world champions South Africa, which will certainly prove a tough test for the home side. The last time they triumphed was in 2010, however, Scotland had a strong showing in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship and are an emerging side.
Finally, Scotland will then take on Rugby World Cup 2019 darlings, Japan, for the ultimate rematch after their last encounter saw them lose 28-21.
Ireland has recently confirmed that they will face three opponents for their Autumn international series with their first match against Rugby World Cup darlings Japan on Saturday 6th November at the Aviva Stadium.
After what many will perceive as a warm-up act, Ireland will then take on New Zealand in possibly their most punishing test of the year. This fixture is always incredibly popular, and with crowds returning to stadiums, this is sure to be a sell-out.
Bookending the tournament is Argentina, who has yet to beat Ireland on home soil, though this stubborn side has pulled off surprises before and has a great track record over the Irish, which may surprise some.
France has now confirmed that it will be facing Argentina and New Zealand at the Stade de France as part of its Autumn Rugby campaign. They also face Georgia, but this will be held at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux.
The world will no doubt be looking on with interest at the New Zealand fixture as a key indicator to the performance of each side before the next Rugby World Cup in 2023.
|Saturday 30th October 2021||Scotland v Tonga||BT Murrayfield Stadium||Edinburgh||2:30pm|
|Saturday 30th October 2021||Wales v New Zealand||Principality Stadium||Cardiff||5:15pm|
|Saturday 6th November 2021||Ireland v Japan||Aviva Stadium||Dublin||1:00pm|
|Saturday 6th November 2021||England v Tonga||Twickenham Stadium||Twickenham, London||3:15pm|
|Saturday 6th November 2021||Wales v South Africa||Principality Stadium||Cardiff||5:30pm|
|Saturday 6th November 2021||France v Argentina||Stade de France||Saint-Denis, Paris||8:00pm|
|Sunday 7th November 2021||Scotland v Australia||BT Murrayfield Stadium||Edinburgh||2:15pm|
|Saturday 13th November 2021||Scotland v South Africa||BT Murrayfield Stadium||Edinburgh||1:00pm|
|Saturday 13th November 2021||Ireland v New Zealand||Aviva Stadium||Dublin||3:15pm|
|Saturday 13th November 2021||England v Australia||Twickenham Stadium||Twickenham, London||5:30pm|
|Sunday 14th November 2021||Wales v Fiji||Principality Stadium||Cardiff||3:15pm|
|Saturday 20th November 2021||Scotland v Japan||BT Murrayfield Stadium||Edinburgh||1:00pm|
|Saturday 20th November 2021||England v South Africa||Twickenham Stadium||Twickenham, London||3:15pm|
|Saturday 20th November 2021||Wales v Australia||Principality Stadium||Cardiff||5:30pm|
|Saturday 20th November 2021||France v New Zealand||Stade de France||Saint-Denis, Paris||8:00pm|
|Sunday 21st November 2021||Ireland v Argentina||Aviva Stadium||Dublin||2:15pm|