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We shifting our focus from Super Rugby to full on Internationals this week with France, Ireland and England touring New Zealand Australia and South Africa.

All three series over the next couple of weeks brings a different challenge to the Southern Hemisphere countries as everyone has one eye on next years World Cup.

The next 16 months will be all about how to get the best players ready for the World Cup in Japan.

International teams have never been closer together than right now and with some exception to the All Blacks in recent years any team can beat any other team on the day.

French tour to New Zealand

It is never easy for any team to tour New Zealand and not many succeed in winning test matches there. Even a top class Lions side could only manage a draw last year which speaks volumes of the current status of All Black rugby.

They will be defending there World Cup trophy next year and as a rugby mad country one can expect them to be the team to beat yet again.

France have been crap for most of the last eight years and they never seemed to settle on couches nor players which makes it a new challenge every time the international window comes up.

They had a good Six Nations this year and they will want to build on that against the All Blacks but easy it will not be.

As per the norm the past how many years New Zealand teams dominate Super Rugby and are just that two or three steps above anybody else.

That gets filtered through to national level and to be frank Hansen can pick a B-Team to win the series against the French.

The French has always been one of that sides the All Blacks struggle against in big tournaments but I can not see them get it wrong at home this time around.

It would be a clean sweep for the All Blacks as they march on as the best team in the world.

Irish touring Australia

This one will be interesting as the Australians seems to think they have a change to win this series against the Irish at home.

Ireland has been the second best team in the world for the past year or so and proven that with the Six Nations.

Australian rugby is in as much trouble as Springbok rugby if not more and their teams seems to be struggling as well in Super Rugby.

The Waratahs has been underperforming for years now with most of the top players playing this franchise and the Rebels with an easy draw at the start of this year is not as good as their log position suggest.

It has always been that the Aussies can put a decent national team together and they will be competitive but still see them struggling against the Irish.

At home one tend to give the advantage to the home side and you can do so in this case as well but still believe Ireland will win the series down under.

Ireland have picked a strong squad to tour Australia and one will be very surprise if they do not take the series

England tour to South Africa

New coach, new combinations, new players all in a days work in South Africa as we start the rebuilding process after the Coetzee era.

There is excitement from some and some who just do not believe we will be able to rebuild Springbok rugby with this squad.

I for one are excited about Rassie Erasmus and what he is going to do for Springbok rugby.

There are plenty of new faces at the moment and this weekend we will have a better understanding on what his plans are and where he is going with this team.

The test against Wales was a waste and although we wanted to see some players take up the challenge, it unfortunately did not happen.

There were so many wrongs while Coetzee was in charge that we expect things to maybe change quicker than it is actually possible.

I truly believe we would have much better off if Warren Whiteley was fit and captain of this team but one can not always get what one wants.

The way Rassie team will play is maybe a bigger issue for me than who he pick to play but England will be no push over.

This is not a bad England side and with Jones as coach one always gets a bit nervous when you have to play them.

They had a horror time at the Six Nations but as many things in life, in rugby you are as good or bad as your last test.

It is going to be a massive test this weekend in Johannesburg and the Springboks will need to manage their game better than what the side did against Wales.

Dominating set pieces will be high on Rassie list for this team but for the supporters out there it will be a combination of a solid forward performance with the backs to complement it.

For too long our back play has been poor but Rassie has pulled in Swys Du Bruin as an assistant for the England series.

Swys has been one of the most successful backline coaches in South Africa for the Lions and he will add value to the back play of the Boks.

It will be interesting to see what game Rassie play on Saturday as we expect a dry winters day in Johannesburg.

Execution is the other aspect that has been lacking in Springbok rugby and it needs to be on par against a side like England otherwise they will punish you.

What ever happens this is a series that should not be missed and hopefully we will see the Springboks rise again.

Here is this weekend Fixtures:

 

 

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. …. this is a series that should not be missed and hopefully we will see the Springboks rise again.

    rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl rofl

    More like the first part of Eddie’s whitewash…

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  2. When you have to pick your side based on pencil tests first and form second there-in lies the problem. That is the difference between the state of the Australian and South African test rugby.

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  3. I think SA got 3 worldclass stars in Marx, etsebeth and serfontein. None are playing so I see problems. I certainly hope that JLDP and PsDT are in the starting pack, otherwise forget it.

    DDA and Kriel (or RjvR) should be the center pairing. Not Am for England.

    Wings you can experiment with Aphiwe and Malimo who both look talented finishers.

    ReplyReply