With just a week to go until the start of the 2016 Old Mutual Wealth Autumn Internationals at Twickenham, we take a look at some of the players to watch out for from South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia.
England enter the Autumn Internationals on the back of nine consecutive victories under Eddie Jones and will be looking to end 2016 unbeaten, but with a long injury list they know they face four tough games at Twickenham.
Jesse Kriel – South Africa (17 Caps)
England begin their Autumn International campaign against South Africa (Saturday 12th November 2016) and while the Springboks arrive in poor form, one player they should be not underestimate is Jesse Kriel.
The Bulls back made his name at the 2014 Junior World Championships as South Africa made it to the final, only to fall to Maro Itoje’s England; and since then 22-year-old has become one of the most talented centres in the world and played in each of South Africa’s games at the World Cup in 2015.
Injury has disrupted his campaign in 2016, but as he demonstrated at the World Cup he is a player blessed with superb footwork, speed and power – he will be a real handful for the English defence.
Leone Nakarawa – Fiji (37 Caps)
The second game of the Autumn Internationals see’s England clash with Fiji (Saturday 19th November 2016) and in what is expected to be an open and exhilarating contest, lock Leone Nakarawa will be a major threat.
The 28-year-old is one of the most experienced members of the Fijian team which have been much improved under coach John McKee in the last two-years. Nakarawa made his name with the Glasgow Warrior, where he was the star man during their Pro12 Championship winning campaign in 2015.
He also played a major role in Fiji’s success in the 2016 Rio Olympics as he scored a try in the final against Team GB. His ability to break tackles and offload makes him so dangerous with ball in hand, but he also is an immense force at the breakdown.
This force of nature will definitely be a player to watch out for.
Facundo Isa – Argentina (21 Caps)
The third game of the Autumn Internationals is arguably England’s toughest as they face Argentina (Saturday 26th November 2016) and powerful number eight Facundo Isa will be at the heart of the Pumas performance.
The 23-year-old was one of the standout players of the Rugby Championship with a series of outstanding displays against South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. His tireless work rate is matched by his outstanding ball-carrying and defensive qualities.
The Jaguares star consistently forced his team over the gain line and provided quality front-foot ball for his team to play off. A truly outstanding player who will be one of the world’s leading forwards for many years.
The clash between Isa and Billy Vunipola will be produce major fireworks.
Israel Folau – Australia (48 Caps)
Australia will be desperate for revenge when they arrive at Twickenham for the final game of the Autumn Internationals – Saturday 3rd December 2016. Key to their hopes will be the performance of superstar full-back Israel Folau.
While it may seem an obvious choice to single out Folau as the main threat for Australia, but he is such a dangerous player that you have to be wary of him at all times. While the Wallabies were below their best in the Rugby Championship, Folau was still a threat and he is still the premier full-back in world rugby.
The 27-year-old has 20-tries in 48 games and will surely add to that fantastic strike rate during the Autumn. His outstanding pace, devastating footwork and ability to find space will see him light up the Twickenham turf once again.
England Autumn International Corporate Hospitality Packages now on sale!
England will be looking to maintain their perfect record under Eddie Jones in the Twickenham Autumn Internationals 2016. Eventmasters are delighted to offer official Twickenham corporate hospitality packages for these four superb games – allowing you to see all the action in VIP style.
Please follow the links below for more information:
England v South Africa – Saturday 12th November 2016
England v Fiji – Saturday 19th November 2016
England v Argentina – Saturday 26th November 2016
England v Australia – Saturday 3rd December 2016