It's week three of the Summer Test Series, and this weekend teams will look to ramp it up a notch.
Scotland vs France
Murrayfield, Kickoff: 8:00 am (ET)
Scotland will be looking to rebound after last weekend's drubbing in France. It's no secret that the Scots are a different animal at home, and they hope this Saturday's sellout crowd pushes them towards a better performance.
Coach Gregor Townsend has brought in a new halfback pairing for this game, which sees a much more experienced combination than last week's duo. Greg Laidlaw and Finn Russell are two of the best in the business, and they will be wanting to carve it up on Saturday.
Scotland Captain, Greig Laidlaw, on tomorrow's rematch against France in front of a sell-out crowd at BT Murrayfield and once again partnering with Finn Russell on the pitch. #AsOne pic.twitter.com/z7aW9lcLAB— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) August 23, 2019
France seems to be rounding into good form at the right time. They are known for stepping up come World Cup time, and the feeling is that this year could be the same.
A nice mixture of veterans and young guns gives this France team the look of a squad that can go really far in the tournament.
Of course, the key issue with France lately seems to be consistency, and Saturday's rematch with Scotland will indicate whether this is still a problem or not.
England vs Ireland
Twickenham, Kickoff: 10:00 am (ET)
So far this summer, Eddie Jones and England have demonstrated their strength in depth. While resting a number of key figures the past two weeks against Wales, England still managed to split the two-game series against Wales' first-choice side.
However, this Saturday Jones will field arguably his strongest starting lineup. Their opponents, Ireland, have a chance to claim the world #1 ranking with a win, and the English surely don't want that happening on their home soil.
The last two meetings between these two teams have been vastly different.
In the 2018 Six Nations finale, Ireland cruised to an easy victory at Twickenham to lock up their first Grand Slam since 2009.
#TeamOfUs— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) August 23, 2019
‘It’s a a fantastic and intimidating place to play rugby but it’s a great place to show what your made of as a player." - @RoryBest2 on Twickenham#ENGvIRE #ShoulderToShoulder pic.twitter.com/amBsv9VL9g
In the opening game of this year's Six Nations, it was England who comfortably won in Dublin.
Ireland will want revenge, and a sign that they are finding their form before heading to Japan. Coach Joe Schmidt is naming a strong side to take on England, despite electing to rest superstar playmaker Jonathan Sexton.
With Joey Carberry potentially out for the World Cup, Ross Byrne is being given his shot to earn his place on the team. Should Byrne put in a good shift this week against England, that green jersey could be his.
Saturday's meeting may not have as much riding on it as the previous two encounters, but it does give a really close glimpse into how these teams are trending ahead of the World Cup in one month's time.