Scotland had high hopes coming into the Autumn Internationals but their performances may have fallen below those lofty expectations. Despite battering a poor Fiji side, losses to Wales and South Africa were hard to take for Scottish fans and players so they’ll be looking to finish strongly against Argentina.
Although most rugby fans have a soft spot for Fiji, it is hard to see them getting anything from a trip to Paris to face France. France have been victorious in all nine previous encounters with Fiji and have won all six games at home against them, not conceding a first-half try in that time.
Despite the USA’s desire to finishe the Autumn Internationals unbeaten, it may be a step too far to win against Ireland. Joe Schmidt’s side have lost just once during 2018 and have been placed alongside New Zealand as favourites for the World Cup in 2019.
It might seem hard to believe, but Wales have won their last three meetings with South Africa. However, the Springboks have enjoyed the lion’s share of the success in the games between these two sides, winning 28 out of their 34 encounters.
The Cook Cup will once again be on the line as these two rugby behemoths clash once again. Whilst Australia have the edge in the all-time record - 25 to 23 - England beaten the Wallabies on the last five occasions. Australia haven’t beaten England since their 2015 World Cup pool clash at Twickenham, and they’ll be looking to repeat those scenes on Saturday.
What a way to welcome back the Top 14 after the international break, as top-of-the-table Clermont Auvergne face fourth-placed Lyon. Clermont are unbeaten at home - they’ve won four out of four at the Stade Marcel-Michelin - and look for that to continue on Sunday against a tough Lyon side.
At the moment, Sandy Park Stadium seems like a fortress for any away team playing there. Exeter look extremely strong at home and it’s going to take a monumental effort from Gloucester to hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season.
Rugby fans are in for a treat as two of the Pro14’s best teams face off on Friday night. Although many of their international players won’t be available, both sides will be hoping to maintain their strong starts to the season, with Leinster the clear favourites here.
Two teams that finished comfortably mid-table last season, both Sale and Northampton would have hoped to kick on this season. However, both have shown frailties in the early weeks of the season so will be looking to get back on track this weekend.
Having both made strong starts to the season, Scarlets and Ulster will be looking to continue those hot beginnings. A win for Scarlets would see them leapfrog Ulster into second in the table but Ulster could pull away with a win.
The two sides will know each other extremely well having played each other earlier this month in the Premiership Rugby Cup in an encounter in which Bristol came out on top.
Despite the problems the All Blacks are showing at the moment, this has all the makings of a game where they can reclaim some of their lost form. New Zealand have never lost to Italy and in their 13 matches against one another, Italy have scored 128 points, whereas New Zealand have scored 754.
This game may prove to be a great opportunity for Wales’ fringe players to stake a place in the side moving forward. With one autumn international left after this fixture and the World Cup quickly approaching as we prepare to head into 2019, head coach Warren Gatland has rotation in his mind.
Scotland will be looking to build on last week’s encouraging win over Fiji when they host South Africa on Saturday. The Scots scored 40 unanswered points in that victory but a tougher test awaits against the Springboks. They left it late to beat an out-of-sorts French outfit last week and despite heading into this game as favourites, Scotland can claim back-to-back wins.