2021 Italy vs New Zealand All Blacks

2021 Autumn Nations Series: Italy Vs. New Zealand; Wales Vs. South Africa

2021 Autumn Nations Series: Italy Vs. New Zealand; Wales Vs. South Africa

The Autumn Nations Series continues with a packed week 2 featuring Italy taking on New Zealand and Wales clashing with South Africa.

Nov 2, 2021 by Matías Matus Acebo
Autumn Nations: Schedule, Watch Live Stream

The Autumn Nations Series continues with a packed week two featuring Italy taking on New Zealand, Wales clashing with South Africa and Scotland meeting Australia. 

Italy Vs. New Zealand

After defeating the US in a friendly game by an astonishing score of 104-14 and Wales by a surprisingly hard-fought 54-16 in Week 1 of the current International Window, New Zealand (No. 1 in the World Rugby Rankings) will face Italy (No. 14) in Rome. To be played at the Stadio Olimpico, this match will be the fifteenth duel between these nations. New Zealand have won all their past games against the Italians. 

Serving as a rematch after the RWC 2019 pool match that was canceled due to Typhoon Hagibis (technical tie) both teams arrive this weekend in two completely different situations.

Italy haven’t played an official rugby test since the last Six Nations tournament in March, where they lost all their games. On the other hand, New Zealand had an almost perfect year, and only one match against South Africa.

Achieving his 100th Test appearance last Saturday and scoring two tries in the process, Beauden Barrett is one of the most interesting players to watch on the All Blacks team. At only 30 years old, there is still a lot to see from the Auckland Blues player.

Carlo Canna (52 caps) will lead the Azzurri this weekend. Four uncapped players have been selected by  coach Kieran Crowley and the inclusion of Ivan Nemer (a recently nationalized Argentinian prop) will give the team a new face. He took part in Argentina’s U18 and U20 national teams.

How To Watch

Ireland Vs. Japan

The Aviva Stadium will host the game between Ireland (No. 5) and Japan (No. 10). Both countries played each other in July and the result showed Japan’s improvement in the past few years. After defeating Ireland at the 2019 RWC, the Cherry Blossoms played good rugby in the last International Window and the Irish won with a tight score of 39-31. 

The Shamrocks were meant to visit the US last week to play against the Eagles in Las Vegas, but that match was canceled because of international border restrictions. USA Rugby, the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority are supportive of rescheduling the match to October 2022.

After leaving the field 50 minutes into Leinster’s 50-15 win over the Scarlets at the RDS last Saturday, Ireland’s Jonny Sexton declared himself fit for the Autumn Nation Series and he is one game away from winning his 100th cap.

Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has named uncapped players for this International Window. Gaining Japanese citizenship after playing for Australia’s U20s, the outside back Dylan Riley will be one of the new faces to watch. He plays for the Saitama Wild Knights in the Japanese Top League.

England Vs. Tonga

Last weekend, Tonga (No. 15) did not have a good day on their visit to Scotland and playing next Saturday at Twickenham Stadium against England (No. 4) will signify another big challenge.

There is a record of only three official games between these two nations, all played at different Rugby World Cups and all of them were victories for England.

It seems that the new generation have made a good impression on England’s coach Eddie Jones. Their November squad will have four uncapped players and eight more who made their debuts this summer. Louis Lynagh, son of Aussie legend Michael Lynagh, could make his debut for the Red Rose this month. He plays for the Harlequins, the latest Premiership champions, and scored 11 tries in 17 appearances.

Glasgow Warriors’ winger Walter Fifita is of the most interesting players on Tonga's side. He signed with the Scottish club in October after playing one year for North Harbour. 

Wales Vs. South Africa

The legendary Principality Stadium in Cardiff will host the encounter between Wales (No. 9) and South Africa (No. 2). Both teams arrive to this game after a hard year. Wales lost last week 54-16 facing New Zealand for their autumn debut. 

After losing three Rugby Championship games in a row, the Springboks beat the All Blacks to take back the No. 1 spot in the world rankings, until last week. 

This weekend the numbers are in favor of the South Africans; they've won 29 out of 36 games against Wales. In their last face-to-face (2019 RWC Semifinal), South Africa won 19-16. 

Scoring one try against New Zealand last week, the young but experienced Tomos Williams will have a good opportunity to prove himself as one of the leaders of the Welsh squad. With more than 100 games played for the Cardiff Blues, the 26-year-old scrum half is well known for high try scoring numbers.

With Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kolbe, Frans Malherbe, RG Snyman, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Rynhardt Elstadt all injured, there is an opportunity to see new players on the South African side. Joseph Dweba, the hooker now playing for the French Union Bordeaux Bègles, made his debut last Rugby Championship and presented himself as one of the big promises in the first row. Siya Kolisi (60 caps) will be the most experienced player on the field.

France Vs. Argentina

To close Saturday, one of the ‘modern classics’ as France (No. 6) hosts Argentina (No. 8) in Paris. There is a lot of history between these two countries.

The Argentinians rewrote their history after two epic wins against Les Bleus to clinch the No. 3 spot at the 2007 France RWC.

The French squad have won their last three matches against the South Americans. In fact, a few years ago they eliminated Los Pumas in the 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan. 

After a big player exodus to Europe and bad results on the field, Argentina’s team is one big question mark. Winning a surprising bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, their Rugby Sevens team provided some new blood to the squad. Lucio Cinti was a key piece of that team and he should get some rugby minutes during November.

Stealing all the spotlight in the last few years, the young scrum half Antoine Dupont (32 caps) will be the new French captain. He is considered one of the best players in the world at his position and big performances in the latest Six Nations tournament gave him the experience to put his chest in front of the bullets and lead the French squad. 

Scotland Vs. Australia

Week 2 will end with Scotland (No. 7) receiving Australia (No. 3) at the BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. Last Saturday the Scottish Thistle won a match against Tonga by a final score of 60-14. Before that, they achieved an amazing Six Nations performance where they defeated both England and France.

The Wallabies reached the Autumn Nation Series after a successful Rugby Championship 2021 campaign. Only losing to the All Blacks, Australia won four games in a row and took 2nd place in the final standings.

A lot of new players made their debut for Scotland last week and Jamie Dobie, scrum half for the Glasgow Warriors, did a great job replacing his teammate Ali Price (co-captain of the team). Scoring four tries, including a first-half hat-trick,South African-born Kyle Stern will be a one-to-watch next Sunday.

With only four uncapped players in his squad, the Australian head coach Dave Rennie will be looking to build on a good season. The return of Will Skelton to the team adds some experience and a heavy boost to the forward’s pack. Born in New Zealand, the 6’8’’ and 286-pound second row now plays for Stade Rochelais in France. He hasn't represented his country since 2016 after joining the English Premiership.