England v Wales, Autumn internationals

England and Wales are back in autumn internationals action against South Africa and Fiji.

England and Wales return to autumn internationals action this Saturday (November 15th) aiming to bounce back from disappointing starts.

Both nations lost in the opening weekend of a series of four Tests during November. At Twickenham, England pushed world champions New Zealand hard but were unable to withstand a second half onslaught and lost 24-21. The defeat was England's fourth in a row, the first time they hit those lows for eight years.

Wales welcomed Australia to the Millennium Stadium but, in what was a frantic game in Cardiff, lost 33-28. It was the Wallabies' tenth straight victory over the Red Dragons and the Welsh players were noticeably drained emotionally after what was a fairly tight game.

England and Wales now need to regroup as South Africa and Fiji wait in the wings this weekend.

England vs South Africa

England welcome South Africa to Twickenham hoping to banish an eight-year hoodoo the Springboks have held over them. England have not triumphed over South Africa since 2006 when a 23-21 score gave the hosts a narrow lead during the Springboks' tour of the country.

For head coach Stuart Lancaster, South Africa represents the last big nation that he has not beaten while in charge of the national team. Lancaster's best result came in 2012 when England held the Springboks to 14-14 draw in Port Elizabeth.

England captain Chris Robshaw has already spoke of the impetus a win over South Africa would have for the rest of the QBE Autumn Internationals. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Robshaw described a victory as a "huge stepping-stone" and would help to banish the disappointment of the New Zealand game.

Speaking about England's narrow loss to the All Blacks, Robshaw told the radio station: "You never like to lose, and with both sides losing last weekend, I'm sure the intensity and physicality will be right up there this weekend."

Lancaster makes one change for the South Africa game handing Bath's Anthony Watson a first international start. Watson replaces injured Bath teammate Semesa Rokodunguni. Second row Courtney Lawes and hooker Dylan Hartley have all been passed fit following tests for concussion while Tom Wood and Kyle Eastmond will also retain their places after injury scares.

Wales vs Fiji

Wales will be looking to exorcise the demons of Saturday's agonising defeat to Australia as they take on Fiji in the second round of matches of the Dove Men Series Autumn Internationals. The Welsh pushed the Wallabies all the way, holding a 21-21 score at half time but eventually succumbed to a narrow defeat.

They welcome Fiji to the Millennium Stadium at the weekend aiming to build momentum for the challenges of New Zealand and South Africa which lie ahead. Head coach Warren Gatland will also want to capitalise on a Fijian side which were humbled 40-15 by France in Paris last weekend.

Gatland has been boosted by the return of half-backs Mike Phillips and Rhys Priestland who are expected to start against Fiji. Phillips will step in for Rhys Webb who has been ruled out with a neck injury while Dan Biggar will also be missing with a groin strain. Jonathan Davis is still not back to full fitness while Leigh Halfpenny has not recovered from a concussion.

Wales boast a good record against Fiji with seven wins in the nations' nine meetings.



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