Although all English attention will be on the predicted titanic battle at Twickenham, there may actually be more fireworks in Paris.
France snatched the 2023 World Cup from under the South African snoz and the vitriol, both before and since the vote, promises a fierce battle without quarter (although there will in fact be 4 – or at least 2 halves)
Adding even more spice is the fact that match is being played in the stadium that is likely to host the 2023 final!.
I have France giving the Springboks a bloody nose (possibly literally) for the second time in three days – by 10 or more.
Until today Michael Chieka and Eddie Jones have been relatively complimentary about each other – that changed when Chieka talked about the England forwards’ bullying tactics and Eddie responded by saying it was nonsense.
Personally I’m all for a pack that can bully the opposition – I long for the return of the ‘white orcs on speed’ from 2003.
Chieka also stated publicly that he wasn’t going to talk to the referee about England cheating at scrum time – er, I think by going to the media you just did mate – with all the subtlety and finesse of Boris.
Stephen Larkham weighed in by calling Eddie Jones ‘spoilt’
So – cheating, bullies and being spoiled? Isn’t it time for your nap? – the school bell just rang ffs!
I expect a full on battle, but I think the forwards and home advantage will give England the edge – I certainly hope so – England by 7
Georgia arrive in Cardiff trying to impress enough to get the attention of the 6 Nations committee. They face a much changed Welsh team and are likely to be a right handful. I hope that press their case for forcing an expansion to the & Nations.
However I think Wales are likely to claim victory by some 13 points.
Against Samoa, Scotland played at Jekyll and Hyde – looking a decent attacking outfit but leaking points almost as readily.
They will need to be a lot more resilient against a strong looking All Black team if they are going to break the record of 28 losses and just two draws (1964 and 1983) since the first match back in 1905.
I doubt it – All Blacks by 20
Joe Schmidt has made a lot of changes to the side that demolished the Springboks last week, but they still look a pretty useful team. Ireland will also be smarting from the 2023 loss and the fact that their Celtic cousins abandoned them.
They will take it out on Fiji and win by 15 or more points.
Finally – Italy notched up a good win over the Fijians last week, but will struggle to do the same to the Pumas.
Argentina by 10+
To be honest, as long as England come out ahead I don’t mind getting all the others wrong.
Enjoy Saturday guys!