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The Breakdown: A statistical look at Saturday´s rugby internationals

9 November 2018 09:00

New Zealand will face England for the first time in four years and Wales get another opportunity to end their Australia hoodoo on a mouthwatering Saturday of Test rugby.

England edged a battling 12-11 victory over South Africa in their opening November international last weekend, but Eddie Jones' side will have to raise their game against the world champions at Twickenham.

Wales have lost 13 consecutive Tests since last beating them a decade ago and they will see the clash in Cardiff as a great chance to end that sequence before they meet in the World Cup next year.

France and the Springboks do battle in what promises to a physical encounter in Paris, while Ireland will look to follow up their thrashing of Italy by putting Argentina to the sword and Scotland host Fiji.

With the help of Opta, we take a statistical look at the action this weekend. 

 

England v New Zealand

New Zealand have proved time and time again that they thrive on the big occasion and they will be expected to have too much for injury-hit England.

The All Blacks have won 14 of their last 15 matches against England and arrived in London on the back of a thumping win against Japan, having rested the big guns.

While England's victory over South Africa was relatively low scoring, New Zealand have scored 67 tries in 11 games this year - more than twice as many as any other Tier One nation - so it would be no surprise to see far more points on the board.

Chris Ashton will make his first Test appearance for four years and the wing has fond memories of facing the world champions, having scored when England last beat them in 2012.

 

France v South Africa

France have lost four consecutive Tests, but won their last two home matches against England and Italy in the Six Nations.

South Africa have been beaten in France in four of the last six meetings between the two nations and will be licking their wounds after a lack of ruthlessness cost them against England.

Willie le Roux, Faf de Klerk and Franco Mostert return after they were unavailable for the Springboks' opening Test of the tour.

Handre Pollard is just one point shy of becoming the fifth player to rack up 300 points for South Africa.

 

Ireland v Argentina 

Ireland recall captain Rory Best and Johnny Sexton as they go in search of what will be a record 10th consecutive home win.

A Jordan Larmour-inspired Ireland side ran riot against Italy at Soldier Field, winning 54-7.

The Six Nations champions have come out on top in all eight matches at home to the Pumas, who have lost eight of their nine games in Europe since beating Ireland in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final.

Argentina claimed the scalp of Australia in their last away Test, but had only won one of their previous 11 games on their travels prior to that.

 

Scotland v Fiji

Gregor Townsend was not impressed with Scotland's display in their 21-10 defeat against Wales and they should respond with a victory over Fiji.

Fiji won the last time they met last year, but Scotland have prevailed in their three encounters at Murrayfield.

The Pacific Islanders have won just three of 56 Tests away to Tier One nations, while New Zealand are the only team to beat Scotland in their last 10 home games.

 

Wales v Australia

Australia have endured a dismal year, but history would suggest a meeting with Wales could boost morale.

Not since November 2008 have Wales defeated the Wallabies, so they are long overdue and head into the game on a six-match winning run. 

Michael Cheika's men have lost their last five matches in Europe and were consigned to a Bledisloe Cup whitewash by the All Blacks last time out.

Israel Folau has scored three tries in his last four Tests against Wales and switches to the wing at the Principality Stadium.

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