Wales, Ireland and England have, or are about to, head off down to the Southern Hemisphere to test their credentials against the top three teams on the planet.
Warren Gatland’s men clearly have the toughest task – taking on the World Champions less than two weeks after going down by five tries to one at Twickenham.
The New Zealand teams are playing some impressive stuff in Super Rugby and many of Steve Hansen’s squad showed at the weekend just why he selected them.
This may not prove to be the best inflight entertainment for the Welsh squad as they fly down to the land of the long white cloud –
The pace and skill level is sometimes breath-taking – including from those who didn’t make the All Black cut. The Blues v Crusaders game was also a bit special, not least from the new AB captain Kieran Read –
Ireland have some injury problems and Joe Schmidt has selected an experienced squad – which you definitely need in South Africa.
The Cheetahs v Stormers game included a ‘discussion’ between two locks who may well end up as room -mates later this week for the Springboks –
It was more a wrestle than a boxing match – presumably to avoid getting bans that would prevent them facing the Irish team. The Springboks second row continues the tradition of being a bit on the large size!
England will be buoyed by their 6 game winning run, but Eddie Jones won’t be fooled into thinking that this is a ‘soft’ tour.
The Waratahs did a job on a strong Chiefs side in Sydney at the weekend –
The Tahs featured several of Michael Chieka’s squad and they looked to be on top form as they head into camp to prepare for Brisbane on Saturday week.
The Wallabies will probably watch the England v Wales game there and will note that Eddie Jones men are a different prospect from the team they faced in the Pool of Death.
Which is a good excuse to include this link –
Some interesting test matches are likely over the next few weeks.
‘Bring It On’
I know it should technically be ‘Bring Them On’ but that just doesn’t sound right!