England’s autumn internationals campaign begins on Saturday against South Africa at Twickenham. Here are our rugby union’s tipster’s best bets ahead of the eagerly anticipated encounter on Saturday.
The Damaged Rose
The build-up to this match has been dominated by the dearth of options available to Eddie Jones. First team regulars like Billy Vunipola, Joe Launchbury and Chris Robshaw are all unavailable to the England coach meaning there are a number of new faces in the starting 15.
As if the loss of significant players wasn’t enough, England’s form this year has been extremely disappointing and as things stand, they won’t head into next year’s World Cup as one of the main contenders.
After such a brilliant start to the Jones’ reign, it has all turned slightly unsavoury to the point where his position has been probed over the summer after six defeats in seven. Despite a losing tour in South Africa, and throwing away winning positions in both defeats, England enter as comfortable favourites at 8/13 with Grosvenorsport.com.
South Africa have improved immensely under Rassie Erasmus. Pride has been restored in the famous Springbok jersey, and they have achieved a lot in a short space of time. Led by their almost superhuman captain Siya Kolisi, the Boks have beaten England twice, Australia, and beat the All Blacks in Wellington – a seriously difficult task.
They are missing some key players due to the fixture falling outside the international window, so we won’t see the likes of Faf de Klerk or Willie Le Roux at Twickenham, however a monster pack has been enhanced with Warren Whiteley and Duane Vermuelen joining Kolisi in the back row. The Springboks are well priced at 5/4, and are 2/1 to win by 1-12 points.
If the summer tour was anything to go by, the game should have points coming from everywhere. Jonny May will look to continue his scorching form for England, and him crossing the whitewash should be a formality, with a great price at 5/4. Wasps flyer Elliot Daly also likes to get involved in dangerous areas, and runs excellent support lines. He is 14/1 to open the scoring on Saturday. Aphiwe Dyantyi may be the quickest player in world rugby, and thrives on tired defences with his great anticipation. He is 12/1 to score the last try of the match.
It is set to be a fantastic occasion to kick off a really difficult autumn series for England, and it is in my book too close a game to call. Either team to win by 7 or less looks the safest bet for me at 5/4, and for the really daring a draw can be backed at 24/1.