The July internationals continue week/weekend starting with a proper Test match between France and Australia. The British & Irish Lions will be sitting this one out after their match with the Bulls was postponed due to Covid cases in the Bulls camp, but there will still be plenty of rugby to watch over the next few days.
Here is a look at some of the games between July 7 and 10:
Australia VS France – Lang Park, Brisbane
The Aussies will be unleashing a new halves combination on the French this Wednesday as they look to put their poor Test form from the previous couple of seasons behind them. Nic White is out injured, so Jake Gordon will take his place at nine, forming a young and exciting partnership with first-five Noah Lolesio. Matt Toomua and Hunter Paisami will try to provide the power in the middle against an inexperienced French side that has left many of its star players at home to rest after a couple of back-to-back gruelling Top 14 seaons. Anthony Jelonch leads a team that averages just eight cap a player and that inexperience will tell as the Wallabies win the match at 0.30 while covering the -10.5 point spread with BetXChange.
New Zealand VS Fiji – Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
The good news for Fiji is that they are only a 44.5 point underdog here. The bad news is that the All Blacks gave an almost 80 point head start to Tonga last week in the betting and still managed to cover by 20 in a 102-0 demolition job. The Fijians will be without their best player as Semi Radradra is busy tuning up for the Olympic sevens by taking on amteur players in tournaments in England. The Fijians will be tough, but the firepower New Zeland have in the likes of Will Jordan – who scored five tries last weekend – will see them eat up the spread and cover here.
Wales VS Argentina – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
A Wales side without their Lions touring in South Africa suffered a major blow when it came to experience last Saturday as fullback Leigh Halfpenny suffered a serious ACL injury in his 100th cap for this nation. Wales will need to pick up their play after a confidence boosting 68-12 win over Canada, with an Argentina side with recent victories over both Australia and New Zealand posing a whole different challenge. Wales have won their last four against he Pumas, but I like the tourists to cover the 6.5 point spread and really push their hosts close here – even without much of the team having seen totally meaningful rugby as of late.
Ireland VS USA – Aviva Stadium, Dublin
The USA will be without Sale Sharks mercurial fly-half – and the player that should be the starting No. 10 for oponents Ireland had he not slipped through the cracks in the system – after he was injured at the tail end of the Premiership season.. Chris Farrell and Jordan Larmour have both been released form the Ireland squad through injury, while Peter O.Mahony has also done so to start his off-season. THe USA ran in a surprising four tries at Twickenham and I fancy them to cover the 26.5 point spread here against an Ireland team missing a ton of Lions and other players for a variety of reasons.