2022 Autumn Internationals
We are one year out from the 2023 Rugby World Cup. As such, the upcoming Autumn Internationals hold a bit more weight than usual. Traditionally the final games of the Southern Hemisphere season, no team wants to give an inch over the four-week period during November. While a team’s season can be made or lost here, the only goal on everybody’s mind is the global showpiece happening next year.
The 2022 Autumn Internationals will surely be filled with excitement. Rugby Championship winners New Zealand had a sub-par season by their high standards. A successful year-end tour will go a long way from a confidence perspective for the three-time World Champions. Both South Africa and Australia have a point to prove. Both teams displayed glimmers of brilliance in the Rugby Championship. Their consistency however has let them down. If they want to be considered serious contenders next year, they both need to have a successful tour.
Standing in their way is France, England, Ireland, and Wales- all who can be considered title contenders themselves. Whoever has the most successful tour will go into 2023 with an air of confidence. All involved hope that they will be in this position.
Rugby autumn internationals 2022 Fixtures
The 2022 Autumn internationals kick off on Saturday the 29th of October. The main fixture of the day will see Australia take on Scotland at Murrayfield. Further East, New Zealand travel to Tokyo, where they face Japan.
Saturday the 5th of November has a host of exciting games lined up. The most significant matchups being Wales vs New Zealand, Ireland vs South Africa, and Australia vs France.
The following weekend’s main fixture is a big one. The reigning World Champions South Africa take on the current Six Nations title holders France. France are arguably the team to beat, so it will be a good measure for the Springboks a year out from the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
South Africa face Italy in Genoa a week later. However, the 2 big games of the day are Ireland vs Australia, and a rematch of the 2019 World Cup Semi-Final, whereby the All Blacks will be looking for revenge against the English.
The Autumn internationals close off on Saturday the 26th of November. South Africa finishes their tour against England at Twickenham. Australia and Wales are the other fixture on this day.
Form and predictions
2022 has been a strange year in that there has been no clear dominant team within the Southern Hemisphere. France are a standout in that they have gone unbeaten this year so far and will surely bring some surprises in the 2022 Autumn Internationals.
New Zealand 2022
New Zealand, while winning the Rugby Championship have been inconsistent. Losing to both Argentina and South Africa, as well as a series loss to Ireland have shown that the once mighty All Blacks are beatable.
South Africa 2022
South Africa narrowly missed out on taking home the Rugby Championship title. They will rue their slip-ups this year. While winning a home series against Wales, the Springboks are still searching for consistency.
Australia are a team on the up. Always a threat on attack, they showed that they can out-muscle the best too. This was clearly seen in their win against South Africa. Have they developed enough to be considered favourites every week? Perhaps not, but success on this tour will go a long way in building confidence in their squad.
Argentina are a bit of an unknown entity. On their day they can cause trouble for most teams. Their form at the end of a long season and away from home will be interesting to see.
The ‘home’ nations also have a lot to prove, as their season has just begun. France need to cement themselves as favourites going into their home World Cup next year. They are playing an exciting brand of rugby and are definitely the team to beat.
Ireland, want to hit the ground running with the form that saw a series success in New Zealand earlier this year. The pressure is well and truly on them.
Another team that will be feeling the weight of expectation is England. If they want to be considered a threat at next year’s showpiece, they need some solid results.
Wales & Scotland 2022
Wales and Scotland both have a point to prove. Following sub-par results in the 2022 Six Nations, both teams want to begin their season on a high.
With a few key players unavailable for the year-end tour, the Springboks are looking for solid backup options as they head into the 2023 season. The flyhalf position is pivotal, and without Handre Pollard and Elton Jantjies, the Bokke are still searching for a viable option in this space. Damian Willemse showed in the Rugby Championship that he has the x-factor in this space. If he remains injury-free he could potentially be the best bet to fill this void. The gap left by the mercurial Lukhanyo Am is also a big one. Finding a viable outside centre back-up is key from a squad depth perspective. Hold onto your seats for the 2022 Autumn Internationals.
Life after Duane Vermeulen is also a reality that the Springboks need to deal with. While Vermeulen may make the 2023 World Cup his swansong, the fact is that the Bokke still need a long-term replacement in this space. Jasper Wiese is probably the first in line, however the youngster Evan Roos is knocking hard on this door. Should he make the most of his allocated game time, he could realistically stake a solid claim for the nr 8 position in the post-Vermeulen era. At the end of this tour, Bok coach Jacques Nienaber will hope to have more answers than questions when it comes to his preferred squad for 2023.
After a long Southern Hemisphere rugby season, the touring teams need to focus and perform for a few more weeks. Time is running out for teams to figure out their best combinations and gameplans for the World Cup. This is also the last real chance to ‘blood’ new players.
Strap in, the final rugby fixtures of 2022 are going to be intense.
Betting on Rugby
The 2022 Autumn Internationals are one of the most viewed sports in South Africa, England, New Zealand, France, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Wales and Argentina. There are many of the best South African Sports betting sites offering great odds on the sport so there is no reason you couldn’t get involved. And the 2022 Autumn Internationals is the perfect time to bet on rugby.