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All you need to know about week four of the Autumn Nations Series

All you need to know about week four of the Autumn Nations Series

Sam Cane during the Haka autumn

The final week of the Autumn Nations Series brings with it perhaps the best selection of games of the whole four weeks with blockbusters everywhere you look.

Who is playing and when?

Saturday’s early games see Italy host Uruguay and Scotland welcome Japan as the two Six Nations sides look to sign off with a victory in the 1pm kick-offs.

Then at 3.15pm attention will turn to Twickenham where England take on South Africa in the first meeting of the teams since the 2019 World Cup final.

Wales and Australia, both in need of a win, go head-to-head at Principality Stadium in a 5.30pm kick-off before one of the most hotly-anticipated games of the autumn, France against New Zealand in Paris which kicks off at 9pm local time.

The action comes to a conclusion on Sunday when Ireland, fresh from their big win over New Zealand, host Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in a 2.15pm kick-off.

Previews

Kieran Crowley will be hoping for a first victory as Italy coach when the Azzurri take on Uruguay in Parma. Italy A got the better of Los Teros last week, but the South Americans have freshened things up for this clash. Italy, meanwhile, have given a debut to Pierre Bruno and will hope for a better start than a week ago against Argentina.

To find out more, check out our Italy v Uruguay preview

Scotland’s hopes of a win over the world champions South Africa last weekend were ended in a frustrating second half, but they will be keen to make up for that at home to Japan. There should be no lack of motivation considering what happened the last time the teams met. In a winner-takes-all clash at the 2019 World Cup, it was the hosts who ran Scotland off their feet and secured a quarter-final place at their opponents’ expense. Japan have not shown that sort of form this November, and Gregor Townsend will be desperate to avenge the loss.

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To find out more, check out our Scotland v Japan preview

Speaking of the 2019 World Cup, this weekend also gives us a rematch of the World Cup final when South Africa overwhelmed England in a 32-12 victory to claim the crown for the third time. A lot has changed since then and England will head into this game with a new captain in Courtney Lawes, with Owen Farrell injured, and a new hooker in Jamie Blamire with Jamie George out as well. South Africa are also missing some key personnel, not least winger Cheslin Kolbe, who scored the clinching try in Yokohama, but the teams are both unbeaten this autumn and it should be a full-blooded contest.

To find out more, check out our England v South Africa preview

Games between Wales and Australia are rarely dull and usually come down to the final moments and this Saturday should be no different. Wayne Pivac’s side, who left it late before pulling away from 14-man Fiji, welcome back some big names in Wyn Jones and Josh Adams but are still missing Alun Wyn Jones. The Wallabies are also without their talismanic skipper, Michael Hooper ruled out through injury, meaning that James Slipper takes over the role. There is a boost with Taniela Tupou back and straight into the starting line-up.

Wales winger Josh Adams

To find out more, check out our Wales v Australia preview

A dress rehearsal for the opening game of the 2023 World Cup, France’s clash with New Zealand brings with it as much excitement and expectation as any game in Paris for the last decade. The All Blacks arrive still smarting from defeat in Ireland, while France have won two from two this autumn without ever quite hitting their straps. Romain Ntamack is back in the familiar No.10 jersey, but it is the battle of the scrum-halves that really excites as Antoine Dupont goes head-to-head with Aaron Smith.

Antoine Dupont France autumn

To find out more, check out our France v New Zealand preview

The final game of the month is in Dublin where Ireland will be looking to back up their win over the All Blacks against Argentina. Los Pumas ended a seven-game losing streak with victory over Italy, and famously knocked Ireland out of the 2015 World Cup. Ireland have won both meetings since and seven of the last eight.

To find out more, check out our Ireland v Argentina preview

Key Points

Italy have not won since the 2019 World Cup against Canada and will be hoping to end a 16-game streak, the longest in their history. They are the only team in the Autumn Nations Series not to have missed a kick at goal, Paolo Garbisi having kicked seven from seven so far.

While Scotland and Japan will meet for the first time since the 2019 World Cup, the Brave Blossoms have played at BT Murrayfield already this year, losing 28-10 to the British & Irish Lions in the summer.

Siya Kolisi England South Africa

South Africa travel to Twickenham where they have won 11 and lost ten matches, while their record as world champions is even better, having won four out of five. England have won 17 of their last 18 autumn Tests, their only loss also to the Springboks in 2014.

After ending a 13-game losing streak to the Wallabies in 2018, Wales have now won their last two and will look to equal their best-ever run of three straight wins against Australia.

New Zealand have lost back-to-back games just once in the last decade, last year against Australia and Argentina. Their clash with France sees the two teams who offload the most come up against one another, with the All Blacks averaging 11.7 per game and France in second with 9.5.

Argentina have never beaten Ireland in Ireland, with their six wins coming in Argentina (three), France (two) and Wales (one).

Where can I watch it?

For fans in the United Kingdom, Amazon Prime Video is the place watch five of the six matches, with the only exception being Ireland’s clash with Argentina which will be broadcast by Channel 4.

If you are in the Republic of Ireland, then it is a similar situation, with the Ireland game shown on RTÉ, while the remaining matches are all on Amazon Prime.

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