England, Wales and Scotland will be looking to enjoy a successful Autumn Nations Cup campaign when international rugby gets back underway in November.
The majority of international rugby has been on hold since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but rugby fans are set for a treat through November and December.
New Tournament for November
Six Nations Rugby has unveiled a new innovative tournament to fill the Autumn International Test window for 2020, with eight nations set to battle it out for the Autumn Nations Cup.
England, Wales and Scotland fly the flag for the home nations and will be joined by Ireland, France, Italy, Georgia and Fiji.
The format of the competition comprises two groups of four, with each team playing the others in its group once, before the finals round takes place on the weekend of December 5.
The finals fixtures will be based on pool rankings as each team squares off against the team ranked in their same position in the corresponding pool – e.g 1st place in Group A v 1st place in Group B, 2nd place from Group A v 2nd place in Group B etc.
Red Rose Handed Tough Draw
England started 2020 with a defeat to France in the Six Nations but they recovered to earn victories over Scotland, Ireland and Wales before the competition was postponed.
Ireland and Wales have been drawn alongside England in Group A of the Autumn Nations Cup, with Georgia, who came in as a late replacement for Japan, taking the final spot.
Those wins against Ireland and Wales earlier in the year could serve England well as they look to sign off 2020 on a positive note.
The Red Rose, who can be backed at
7/2 to win the 2023 World Cup, kick off their Autumn Nations Cup campaign against Georgia at Twickenham on November 14.
Eddie Jones will be expecting his men to earn a comfortable win ahead of more testing affairs against Ireland at the same venue on November 21 and Wales on November 28.
With Wales heading to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for their opener against Ireland, England appear to have been handed a slight advantage with the opportunity to ‘warm-up’ against Georgia.
Indeed, England have made easy work of Georgia in previous meetings, winning 41-10 in 2011 and 84-6 back in 2003.
France Fancied for Group B
France, much like England, enjoyed a hugely positive start to the year and they have a fantastic opportunity to win the Six Nations for the first time since 2010.
Victories over England, Italy and Wales have them sitting second in the standings and a win over Ireland on October 31 could be enough to bring home the title.
France, who are priced at
6/1 to win the 2023 World Cup, kick off their Autumn Nations Cup campaign 15 days later when they take on Fiji, before travelling to Scotland on November 22 and they wrap up the Pool stage against Italy on November 28.
The trip to Murrayfield looks set to be France’s biggest test, having lost 28-17 at that venue in their most recent outing prior to the postponement of the Six Nations.
*All odds correct at time of writing