The first weekend of November Internationals is upon us and there are some interesting games – along with some that should be one-sided affairs. Here is a look at five of them.
Ireland VS Japan – Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Ireland will be well up for this one as Jonathan Sexton wins his 100th cap and Tadhg Furong brings up his 50th for his country. It is a strong-looking team for the hosts and their mix of skill and power in the midfield in the forms of Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose will give the Japanese fits. I like Ireland to play a full 80 here given the two landmark games that are going on and they will cover the -17.5 point spread they have been given at 9/10 with BetXchange.
England VS Tonga – Twickenham Stadium, London
Chasing 57.5 points is never easy and it will be even more difficult if the hosts are without Owen Farrell in this one after his positive Covid-19 test in the week. Eddie Jones’ teams don’t tend to keep racking up the points as they play a more conservative game than the likes of New Zealand, but they will get close here. I like TOnga to just about stay ahead of the spread as England scores something in the low 50s against them.
Wales VS South Africa – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
South Africa hasn’t won in Cardiff since 2013 and the Springboks’ players are surely tied after what seems like years of consecutive games heading back to the Lions’ Tests. They have, however, had a month off, and it is a strong-looking group including the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Duane Vermeulen, and Siya Kolisi in the pack. Wales will be game, but I like South Africa to win and cover the -8.5 point spread as they keep the pressure on their hosts until they break sometime in the second half.
France VS Argentina – Stade de France, Saint-Denis (Paris)
Argentina looked awful – as their pointless record showed – in The Rugby Championship and they will be hoping that their trip to the Northern Hemisphere reinvigorated their international fortunes. Tomas Cubelli is back in at scrum-half – one of eight changes from their last outing in a 32-17 defeat by Australia. France will be France, capable of anything but always prone to being tripped up. Their half-backs and centers look amazing on paper, and I think this is where they will do the damage to cover the 15.5 point spread.
Scotland VS Australia – Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Projected to be the closest of the Week 1 games, Australia will take on Scotland at Murrayfield. Scotland welcomes back their stars – such as fullback Stuart Hogg and fly-half Finn Russell – following their jaunt over Tonga. Australia will start Rory Arnold for the first time in a Test in two years as one of a number of players back in the fold after Rugby Australia relaxed its rule on overseas players. This should be a great contest and I like the Scots to not only cover, but also to ride the home crowd to a victory as underdogs with the odds being 21/21 with BetXchange.