This year’s rugby summer tour has now wrapped up for England, Scotland and Wales, with mixed results for the three countries.
While England and Scotland finished off convincing victories over Australia and Japan respectively, Wales were beaten by an impressive New Zealand team that continued their fantastic performances at the World Cup.
Regardless of the result, the tours were a great chance to see the quality of some of the top rugby teams across the globe.
Here we have a look at how the series happened for all three teams:
England have managed to achieve the first 3-0 series win by a touring side in Australia since South Africa in 1971. With 39-28, 23-7 and 44-30 victories, Eddie Jones’ men continued their phenomenal form after Six Nations glory.
Such a dominant win showcases the growth of the England squad and could be the team’s greatest ever achievement other than their 2003 World Cup win. Chris Robshaw, Dylan Hartley and Mako Vunipola were among some of the top performers in the team.
The kicking of Owen Farrell and determination of George Ford and James Haskell cannot be understated either in the historic triumph.
New Zealand are simply unstoppable at the moment and, while Wales battled hard, they were no match for the All Blacks.
The series ended 39-21, 36-22 and 46-6 and it was always an uphill challenge for the Welsh as Israel Dagg, Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett were among the standout performers for the world champions.
With such a dominant performance, it is hard to imagine how anyone can topple New Zealand on their current form. Even with the retirements of Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, it is clear the All Blacks are undoubtedly the best team in the world.
Scotland have succeeded in wrapping up a triumphant series win over Japan, with successive 26-13 and 21-16 victories in the far east.
While a win was certainly expected, many fans will be disappointed that they didn’t dominate their up-and-coming opponents, who will be content with their efforts as they grow into a more improved team.
However, Stuart Hogg’s kicking and Greig Laidlaw’s great form also played a part in the Scottish victory. The humid conditions obviously played a part in how the games panned out, with many of the Scots squad struggling to handle the heat.
England will be wishing the World Cup could come round sooner considering the excellent form they have displayed in recent months. This whitewash, combined with a historic Six Nations win, means the team have clearly put their World Cup failure behind them.
On the other hand, Wales and Scotland will have some work to do. Wales were always going to have an uphill battle against the extraordinary All Blacks, but Warren Gatland’s men will have wanted to put in a more convincing show against the world’s best.
Similarly, despite Scotland’s victory, the team may be disappointed they couldn’t wrap up the series in more style. They will certainly need to put in a better performance to trouble some of the world’s better squads.