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End of the Year Tour: England v Argentina Preview
England will be looking to extend their unbeaten streak when they host Argentina this Saturday afternoon.
The England juggernaut rolls on this weekend with Los Pumas the next side to tackle the second highest ranked team in world rugby. The hosts are coming into this one off the back of an entertaining hit out against Fiji that saw them rack up an impressive 58 points. Conversely, the visitors make the short journey South off the back of a tight 19-16 defeat to Scotland.
England v Argentina | Saturday 26 November | Twickenham | 16:30
To Win (80 Mins)
England 1/12 | Draw 33/1 | Argentina 13/2
England (-16.5) 9/10 | Argentina (+16.5) 9/10
Another week, another win for Eddie Jones and his men. While the opposition were of a much calibre than this week’s opponents, the manner in which the Englishmen dismantled their counterparts, particularly during the opening quarter of the game, was mightily impressive.
Man of the match Semesa Rokonduguni – who was actually born in Fiji but qualifies to play for England having served in the British Military for a period of three years – was sensational bagging a hat-trick of tries and giving his former countrymen a right run around.
Unfortunately for Rokiondunguni, Gloucester man Jonny May has recovered from his horror knee injury and replaces the hat-trick hero in this week’s squad; sport can be such a cruel beast at times.
There are likely to be further changes to England’s matchday 23 with Joe Lauchbury being cited for kicking out at one of the Fijian’s. The lock’s ban couldn’t have come at a more opportune time however as Saracens second rower George Kruis has just overcome an ankle injury.
It has been rather strange witnessing the Argentines revert back to a more conservative game plan whilst on tour. Los Pumas were exceedingly expansive during this year’s Rugby Championship running the ball from all quarters.
This polar opposite change in philosophy has culminated in back to back losses for the Argentina’s finest. And if they take this approach into Twickenham, they’re likely to have that losing streak extend to three games.
Head coach Daniel Hourcade is a wily old character though and I suspect he will change tact for this one and revert back to a more attacking game plan. His charges have proved they are more than capable of matching the best in the world when it comes to running the ball and they could stretch this England side who have a much heavier loose trio .
Regardless of how well they run the ball, the Argentines forwards are going to need to front up at the set piece which will be easier said than done as the English pack has been in magnificent form this term – just ask the Springboks and Wallabies about that.
Hourcade is yet to announce his starting XV at the time of writing but is suspect he will field a very similar side to the one that went down 16 to the Scots last Saturday.
Verdict: England (-16.5) 9/10
England have been a different class at home this year and my money is on them clearing the ‘cap despite it being in the mid-teens.