The last weekend of the Autumn International season
England v Australia (4pm GMT)
England ran in three second-half tries to come from behind and beat an inspired Japan on a testing afternoon at Twickenham.
Japan had been in front 15-10 at half-time, a lead fully deserved after tries from Ryoto Nakamura and captain Michael Leitch capped some wonderfully inventive attacking rugby.
Eddie Jones had spoken of “emotionally smashing” the side he used to coach but an upset on par with the famous toppling of South Africa in Brighton at the 2015 World Cup seemed on the cards.
Only late in the game, after debut international tries for Mark Wilson and Joe Cokanasiga and two penalties from George Ford, did England take any sort of control.
The relief was obvious around Twickenham, the performance more a rescue mission than a statement of intent 10 months out from the World Cup.
Australia, defeated 9-6 in a disappointing contest in Cardiff the week before, went to Italy and won 26-7 against the weakest of the major Six Nations teams
Australia are still very much in a state of flux, defeated in over half their Internationals in this calendar year and England are 4/11 favourites to win here, Australia 9/4. I think England should win but it will be close and like them to win by 1-12 points at 13/8 with Bet365
Wales v South Africa (6.20pm GMT)
Wales finally beat Australia a fortnight ago in a dour match and end their Autumn season with a tough prospect, the rugged South Africans who lost by a point at Twickenham partly through not getting the rub of the green but mainly because they failed to take many opportunities in the first half. Since then they’ve gone to Paris and won by three points and Edinburgh and won by six and are emerging as genuine World Cup contenders after a year in which they beat New Zealand away and almost them beat them at home.
Wales too will have designs on a deep run in Japan and have more depth than for many years across the back line and in the back row but its areas of the tight five where i think they lack some world class, Alun Wyn-Jones apart. That is a real South African strength and as a result I am struggling with Wales as short as 4/6 outright to win this match. South Africa is another challenge entirely compared to the current Australian side and i like the visitors here to win at 6/5