WITH RUGBY kicking into a different gear this weekend, with the first proper, extensive round of international action kicking off, there are several Tests worth getting excited about.
How will they pan out, though? We offer up our predictions below, but if you see yourself as a bit of a guru when it comes to guessing win margins then enter our exclusive November Tests SuperBru pool and have a bash. You could win a year’s subscription to the magazine…
Italy v Australia
Our prediction: We’ve gone for it straight from the off. Australia looked deserted of attacking ideas against England and only profited from lax tackling to score. Italy are due another big scalp and they are at home. Italy by 2
England v Argentina
Our prediction: The Pumas have a lot of injuries and absentees, they have a new head coach and England have that winning feeling, despite never truly impressing against the Wallabies. They could fall into more of a rhythm at Twickenham this weekend, even if they face up a Puma scrum with an entirely new front-row. England by 16
Scotland v Japan
Our prediction: Japan gave a good account of themselves against the All Blacks without ever really getting too close. However, a trip to Europe is a different prospect and some in Scotland expect this side to build real momentum. And with rumours that soon-to-be head coach Vern Cotter has been making his presence felt at Murrayfield, the players may have a point to prove. Scotland by 16
Wales v South Africa
Our prediction: You want to say Wales will dazzle with their backs and match Bok firepower up front, but it is hard to image the raw physicality of South Africa not hurting Wales. It should be close, but South Africa are used to sustained brutality. South Africa by 8
Ireland v Samoa
Our prediction: Samoa could climb to the dizzying height of fifth in the IRB world rankings should they triumph in this Test, but Ireland have a new age coming – even if there is a well-worn centre pairing of D’Arcy and O’Driscoll still there – and they have some young men with careers to forge coming in. And let’s not forget about Joe Schmidt’s ability to script breathtaking attacking plays. Ireland by 12
France v New Zealand
Our prediction: New Zealand are the best team on the planet. The French have spooked them in the past, but they have become somewhat of a conservative husk of the old France over the last year or so. The All Blacks spanked them during a French tour of the island in the summer. New Zealand by 15Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.