England start their 2019 World Cup odyssey with three Autumn internationals at Twickenham in November.
The chariot gets rolling on 11 November with a test against Argentina. That’s followed a week later with a huge clash versus Australia.
The trio of internationals finishes up on the 25th at Twickenham with a clash against Samoa.
Eddie Jones will begin his quest for World Cup glory in around 18 months time using these three tests as squad development.
A 34-man squad was announced this morning with a number of new faces included. Exeter Chiefs backrower Sam Simmonds is the standout name.
He’s joined by two apprenticeship players in Zach Mercer and Marcus Smith.
At 18-years-old, and 20-years-old, neither is likely to feature in the matchday squads but will be viewed in training.
James Haskell and Joe Marler are the big-name omissions.
The Six Nations’ champions will be expected to win all three of the upcoming tests.
Argentina is the first team up for Jones’ men, and they’ll be backed to win well given their recent record over the Pumas.
England have already played the Argentines three times in the last year, winning in the Old Mutual Wealth Series and twice on tour in South America.
It’s Australia that attention will be mostly centred on. And the Wallabies will be in good spirits after a huge recent win against New Zealand.
Michael Cheika has done a reasonably good job at the helm since taking the Australian job back in 2014.
However, the former Leinster coach has also presided over a defeat to Scotland on home soil in the summer. That made it galling back-to-back defeats to the Scots in Australia.
There’s certainly a lack of consistency there, and that will always make the Wallabies dangerous – how can you prepare for a team you can’t predict?
Eddie Jones will be frothing at the mouth to get a win over his compatriots and former side, though.
Having suffered just one defeat in their last 22 international tests, England will be in confident mood.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the Chariot steam-rolled Argentina, Australia, and Samoa to finish off a fine 2017. And to kick-start World Cup preparations in perfect fashion.
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