Autumn internationals: European teams can be competitive

Autumn internationals: European teams can be competitive

We’ve got three autumn internationals predictions from Saturday’s big rugby union matches and are hoping to land a 5/1-plus treble on the handicap markets.

With the Rugby World Cup just nine months away, Europe’s top nations will be keen to show they can compete with the southern hemisphere superpowers.

England +14.5 points vs New Zealand @ 4/5

Nine of Eddie Jones’ match-day 23 were involved in the Lions series against the All Blacks last year, so they should take heart from that admirable draw. New Zealand have named their strongest available team, so this will be a formidable test, but Chris Ashton’s recall shows an attacking intent from England, who may be just a touch sharper than their opponents with the benefit of last Saturday’s hard-fought triumph over South Africa.

Wales -2.5 points vs Australia @ 91/100

Warren Gatland will be well aware of the fact that Wales last beat the Wallabies in 2008, subsequently suffering 13 successive defeats – eight home losses, plus one each in London, Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. However, many of those have been close contests and this would be a great time to end the hoodoo ahead of a group-stage clash in Japan. Beating South Africa and then Argentina twice on a summer tour will stand the improving Dragons in good stead and they impressed in victory against Scotland last weekend.

France +3.5 points vs South Africa @ 4/5

Les Bleus produced marked improvement in last season’s Six Nations under new head coach Jacques Brunel and showed more promise on their tour of New Zealand than the bare results suggest. Brunel has selected forwards with the size and strength to match South Africa’s powerful forward pack, which may still be battered and bruised from last week’s brutal clash with England at Twickenham. This is expected to be another tight tussle, so let’s stick with France getting a start for our autumn internationals predictions.

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