Ahead of what is the final weekend of autumn internationals for everyone aside from Wales and South Africa, who face off on December 2, we look at three players to watch out for.
3. Jacob Stockdale
The Ulster winger enjoyed a terrific home debut against South Africa on the opening weekend. Stockdale’s prowess in attack is well-known, having scored five tries in his six starts for Ulster this season. However, it will be his work in defence that will be most impressive to the Irish management.
Ireland’s gameplan relies heavily on defensive solidity out on the wider channels. With players like Fergus McFadden being drafted into the national set-up due to their defensive capabilities, to see an athlete like Stockdale combine that solidity with his power in attack is very exciting. Look for Stockdale to capitalise on some disjointed Argentinian defending.
2. Taniela Tupou
The ‘Tongan Thor’ seems to have made the right decision to sign for the Queensland Reds, with the 21-year-old set to make his debut off the bench for the Wallabies against Scotland.
The tighthead made himself known with a number of barnstorming displays at club level that went viral. Tupou has improved his scrummaging after racking up appearances at Super Rugby level, which have helped to make him a more complete player.
Tupou is far from the finished article, with his consistency being the biggest concern, however Michael Cheika has seen enough productive work from the explosive prop in training in order to select him against Scotland.
1. Henry Slade
The Exeter Chiefs man hasn’t set the world alight so far in this autumn series. However, Jones has finally selected him at outside centre, which is where the 24-year-old plays the majority of his rugby for Exeter.
Although Slade is part of a new-look centre combination, Samoa won’t pose the same challenge as the Wallabies’ midfield and he will have more space and time in order to display his talents.
The playmaker hasn’t covered himself in glory this autumn but now has the chance to end this international series on a positive note.
With a strong back three outside him, Slade’s work to distribute to England’s wingers will earn him as much plaudits from Jones as if he were to make the yards and scores himself.
Once again, this weekend is littered with international class but these are three players you should watch out for in particular.