2021 Autumn Internationals
South Africa is primed and ready to take on Wales, Scotland and England in the 2021 Autumn Internationals. The Boks’ world number 1 ranking is also at stake! Will they retain it, we think so!
The 2021 Autumn Internationals tour is upon us. The Northern hemisphere test rugby calendar traditionally kicks off with the Autumn internationals. Conversely, this period marks the end of the season for the Southern hemisphere teams. Teams from both sides of the equation look at the games during this period as a chance to end/ begin their season on a high. Age-old rivalries come to the fore, and scores are settled in this period.
For the Springboks, their 2021 tour culminates with a test against arch-rivals England. This will be the first time that the teams meet since the 2019 rugby world cup final. Eddie Jone’s team want to prove that they are the better side, while the Bokke need to validate their status as world champions. The Boks’ world number 1 ranking is also at stake!
Before the Springboks can put their feet up for the festive break, they need to deliver a few more great performances. We all know that they are capable of.
Springboks 2021 Form
The Springboks missed the entire 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Arguably their main goal for 2021 was to win the incoming British & Irish Lions test series. After a hard-fought series, the Bokke did indeed come out on top, winning the series 2-1. While the rugby wasn’t necessarily attractive, the team did what was necessary under the circumstances.
The Rugby Championship was a mixed bag for the South Africans. Two wins against Argentina at home followed by two losses to Australia could be seen as below par for the current world champions. A further narrow defeat to the All Blacks really put the pressure on the Boks. After all, they had been on the road and in isolation for a very long period.
The final game of the contest was topped off with a historic win against the All Blacks. While only ending up third on the tournament log, the team would have been happy with ending on a high. The win against NZ ensured they retained their status as the number one ranked team in the world.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has a tough job in needing to continue producing positive performances. Add to this the task of blooding new talent within the squad. The 2021 Autumn Internationals tour will hopefully be a good opportunity for some players within the greater team to gain invaluable experience in conditions like what is expected for the 2023 World Cup (hosted by France).
2021 Springboks Opposition
First Stop Cardiff
The first game of the tour was against 2021 Six Nations champions Wales. The game played in the Welsh capital of Cardiff and was anticipated to be a tough one as the Springboks have not won here since 2013. As with all the recent games against the Welsh, the game ended up being a tight affair. The Springboks managed to break the poor run of results in the Welsh capital with a hard fought fight resulting a win for the visitors. Final score Wales 18-23 South Africa.
On To Scotland They Go
Following the Cardiff game, the Springboks play Scotland at Murrayfield. The Scottish team has enjoyed a purple patch of late. While they only finished the 2021 Six Nations fourth, then won as many games as second placed France. Less bonus points and a lower points difference was the only reason for finishing where they did. Beating England, France, and Italy with narrow losses to both Ireland and Wales would point to a team on an upward trajectory.
With their last win against the Springboks coming in 2010, the Scots will want to prove to the world that they are a serious team with big aspirations.
South Africa Take On England
The final match of the 2021 Autumn Internationals tour is against England. The 2019 rugby world cup runners up will want to make amends for that historic defeat. Despite only finishing fifth in this year’s Six Nations, the English will arguably be the toughest opponents of the tour.
Under Eddie Jones the team have won multiple Six Nations titles as well as having reached a World Cup final. The Boks have a slight edge when it comes to recent matches between the sides. They have won three of the previous five tests, one of which was the all-important 2019 World Cup final. However, the last time a South African team won at Twickenham was in 2014. The Bokke will be hoping to change this statistic in their favour.
Springbok Squad View
With a smaller squad then the one that toured for the Rugby Championship, Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber opted for consistency over wholesale changes. With two uncapped players in the squad. Lock Salmaan Moerat and scrumhalf Grant Williams will be hoping to make their debuts on this tour. The remainder is much of the same for the greater Bok team that is aiming to build on the positive performances they have achieved this year. Siya Kolisi will be travelling as incumbent team captain. Morne Steyn is the main notable omissions after he recently retired. Injured Faf de Klerk and Peter Stepeh Du Toit join him on the list. The core of this team has been together for a while now, and they will collectively be hoping to finish the year on a positive note.
The 2021 Autumn Internationals, or year-end tour from a South African perspective is always a tough affair. After an already long season that has accepted isolation protocols that the Corona virus pandemic has demanded, the players will understandably be close to physical and mental fatigue. If the Bokke can put in a string of strong performances it will go a long way in their build up to the 2022 season, and ultimately the 2023 World Cup. Three weekends of test rugby are all that stand in the way of a much-deserved break for the team. A successful tour will allow them all to truly enjoy their off-season break.
Bet on Rugby
With the 2021 Autumn Internationals being one of the most viewed sports in both England and South Africa it is easy to see why people also bet on rugby. With so many of the best South African Sports betting sites now offering great odds on the sport there is no reason you couldn’t get involved.
Check out our recommendations for the best rugby betting sites in South Africa.