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Big Guns Provide Big Challenge for England
Southern hemisphere sides to tour in 2012
Posted Nov 25, 2011 by Chris White
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The RFU have announced the schedule for autumn 2012, in which England will face three of the big guns of world rugby. Fiji, Australia, South Africa and the recently crowned World Champions New Zealand will all come to Twickenham in what will be a real indication of what, if anything, England learned in the recent World Cup.
The opening Test is against the smallest of the four, Fiji, on Saturday 10th November, before Australia come to town on the 17th followed a week later by the Springboks, and the World Champions close the autumn series on 1st December.
England number eight Nick Easter is looking forward to the challenge of taking on the world’s elite, saying in a press conference that “These Tests are a massive challenge. The southern hemisphere has set the benchmark over the years, and we know that they hold dominance, so it is always good to pit yourself against them.”
In their last autumn series, back in 2010, England lost 26-16 to New Zealand and 21-11 to South Africa, overshadowing a 35-18 victory against Australia. They have lost their last nine matches against the All Blacks, dating back to 2003, and their last seven against the Springboks, including the World Cup Final of 2007, with England’s last win coming in November 2006.
Australia seem to have lost their ‘fear factor’ when it comes to playing England, however, with the English winning their last two matches against them.
But before all that, there is the challenge of the Six Nations, which starts for England away at Scotland on 4th February.