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This Week’s Biggest Matches On Rugby Pass

By Calum Henderson
Lood de Jager /Getty

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We preview the best matches to catch on Rugby Pass this weekend as England, Scotland, Italy and Argentina kick off their Autumn Internationals campaigns.

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Top 14: Pau vs Racing 92 (Saturday November 12, 9:45pm HKT)
The biggest battle at Stade du Hameau this weekend could take place off the pitch where Pau centre Conrad Smith has challenged Racing 92 fly-half Dan Carter to recite a French tongue-twister. The battle on the pitch should be good too though – while Pau are languishing near the foot of the table they are difficult to beat at home. Racing 92 are struggling to recapture the kind of form which saw them win last season’s title, however three wins from their last three – including the tough scalp of Montpellier last weekend – suggests they may be getting there.

Autumn Internationals: Italy vs New Zealand (Saturday November 12, 10:00pm HKT)
Few will envy Italy the task of facing the All Blacks the week after their shock defeat to Ireland in Chicago. Despite a growing injury list – both starting centres were ruled out for the tour after the Ireland game – the New Zealanders are sure to bounce right back in Rome this weekend. Last time these sides met was in 2012 when the All Blacks won 42-10 – one of the more competitive score lines in the sides’ history. Italy aren’t as bad as they were in the 90s and early 2000s, but they haven’t exactly made any great strides in the last four years either. It’s probably fair to expect a similar margin this weekend.

Autumn Internationals: England vs South Africa (Saturday November 12, 10:30pm HKT)
As of last weekend England now have the longest active winning streak of all tier 1 rugby nations. It started against Uruguay in last year’s World Cup and continued in the brave new Eddie Jones era with a Six Nations Grand Slam, a win over Wales and a 3-0 series whitewash in Australia. Despite carrying a lot of injuries into the Autumn Internationals England should be reasonably confident of extending the streak against a Springboks side who stumbled through the Rugby Championship and could only manage a draw against a ragtag Barbarians outfit last weekend.

Autumn Internationals: Scotland vs Australia (Saturday November 12, 10:30pm HKT)
OK… Maybe Australia are better than we have been giving them credit for. Their performance in last weekend’s 32-8 win over Wales was more fluent and well-rounded than they looked at any stage during the Rugby Championship, and Bernard Foley played one of the games of his career at fly-half. Bernard Foley – that’s a name should send a shiver down the spine of Scottish supporters. It was his late, controversially-awarded penalty kick which saw the Scots cruelly denied a spot in the World Cup semifinals last year. This Saturday at Murrayfield they have a chance at revenge.

Autumn Internationals: Wales vs Argentina (Sunday November 13, 1:30am HKT)
What happened, Wales? Last weekend was supposed to be 12th time lucky. Instead it turned out to be the 12th and biggest loss to Australia since the losing streak began in 2008. Good though the Wallabies (surprisingly) were at Principality Stadium, Wales showed little of the promise they displayed for long periods of the June tests in New Zealand. They’ll need to get some of it back by the time the Rugby Championship-hardened Pumas roll into town. Wales have played Argentina ten times this century, with the spoils shared five games apiece.

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