Coming up on the horizon early next year is the start of the Six Nations and the Tri Nations Championships, which will be followed later in the autumn by the exciting 2023 Rugby World Cup, which takes place across France in September and October 2023.

However, in advance of those games we have the Autumn Nations series of games. A selection of matches that tends to put Southern Hemisphere teams against their Northern Hemisphere counterparts.

While these games are not part of any over-arching tournament, these games will affect the World Rankings for the World Cup and so they will certainly be taken very seriously by the teams competing.

We have already seen two matches in the Autumn Nations series, with matches taking place last week in Tokyo and Edinburg, with the visitors New Zealand and Australia landing narrow wins over Japan and Scotland respectively.

Over the next few weeks, there will be a significant number of other games, many featuring the four home nations which will be available to bet on with bet365 Sport for both pre-match and also In-Play betting.

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Let’s now look ahead to the full list of games in this tournament, with a particular attention on those games taking place this weekend.

Autumn Nations Games

Week 1

  • Japan 31-38 New Zealand
  • Scotland 15-16 Australia

Week 2

Saturday 5th November

Spain v Tonga

  • Venue – Ciudad de Malaga, Malaga
  • Kick Off – 7.30pm
  • Referee – Damon Murphy (ARU)
  • Head to Head – Played 1, Spain Wins 1, Tonga Wins 0, Draws 0
  • World Ranking Comparison – Spain 15th, Tonga 16th

Prediction: One of the most improved sides in the world, Spain face a real physical battle against Tonga. Will Latin flair be the predicator for a win here, or will the mighty powerhouses of the Tonga overpower the Spanish on their home soil? These two teams look well matched and a great game is in prospect. Spain 26-31 Tonga.

Italy v Samoa

  • Venue – Stadio Plebiscito, Padova
  • Kick Off – 3pm
  • Referee – Christoph Ridley (RFU)
  • Head to Head – Played – 7, Italy Wins 2, Samoa Wins 5, Draws 0
  • World Ranking Comparison – Italy 14th, Samoa 11th

Prediction: Italy are used to being the unfancied team in the Six Nations, but their fans will be hoping that they can push a strong, physical and speedy Samoa team close here. Italy’s progress has been a little slower than they would have liked since becoming a Six Nations team, and I think they may struggle a little here against the physicality of their opponents – Italy 24-45 Samoa

Scotland v Fiji

  • Venue – Murrayfield, Edinburgh
  • Kick Off – 1pm
  • Referee – Nic Berry (ARU)
  • Head to Head – Played 8, Scotland Wins 6, Fiji Wins 2, Draws 0
  • World Ranking Comparison – Scotland 6th, Fiji 12th

Prediction: After a narrow loss to the Australians last week, Scotland will want to bounce back here against a physically powerful Fijian team. The Scots should do that after a remarkable about turn in fortunes over the last few years making them one of the most improved teams in world rugby and I think we will see that here. – Scotland 36-17 Fiji

Wales v New Zealand

  • Venue – Principality Stadium, Cardiff
  • Kick Off – 3.15pm
  • Referee – Wayne Barnes (RFU)
  • Head to Head – Played 36, Wales Wins 3, New Zealand Wins 33, Draws 0
  • World Ranking Comparison –  Wales 7th, New Zealand 4th

Prediction: Wales have won just three times against the All Blacks and they are going to come into this game as the underdogs. New Zealand are always a major force at any Rugby World Cup and the next one will be no different. The All-Blacks beat out a determined Japan last week. I expect them to do likewise here against the Welsh – Wales 21-37 New Zealand

Ireland v South Africa

  • Venue – Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • Kick Off – 5.30pm
  • Referee – Nika Amashukelu (GRU)
  • Head to Head – Played 26, Ireland Wins 7, South Africa Wins 18, Draws 1
  • World Ranking Comparison – Ireland 1st, South Africa 3rd

Prediction: The top ranked team in the world faces the current World Cup holders in a game that will arguably the most attractive of the weekend. Ireland at home have been superb of late and their wins in the Southern Hemisphere have made them a real force. South Africa though are always hard to beat and I expect them to run Ireland close here. Ireland 27-25 South Africa.

France v Australia

  • Venue – Stade de France, Paris
  • Kick Off – 10pm
  • Referee – Jaco Peyper (SARU)
  • Head to Head – Played 50, France Wins 18, Australia Wins 30, Draws 2
  • World Ranking Comparison – France 2nd, Australia 9th

Prediction: What a game this should be as one of the favourites for the World Cup next year and current Six Nations holders France, take on Australia in Paris. This is going to be a great test for the French ahead of the Six Nations and World Cup next year with an expectant home crowd almost demanding of a big win. I think France will get it too. – France 38-31 Australia

Romania v Chile

  • Venue – Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest
  • Kick Off – 11am
  • Referee – Sam Grove-White (SRU)
  • Head to Head – Played 1, Romania Wins 1, Chile Wins 0, Draws 0
  • World Ranking Comparison – Romania 17th, Chile 21st

Prediction: Two of the lower ranked teams in this tournament and who have also qualified for next year’s World Cup. This game is a good test for both of them and will give them a chance to compete against an opponent of a similar ability. Romania have the edge in experience and so I am backing them to win a narrow one here – Romania 17-7 Chile

Sunday 6th November

Georgia v Uruguay

  • Venue – Dinamo Arena, Tblisi
  • Kick Off – 7pm
  • Referee – Paul Williams (NZR)
  • Head to Head – Played 6, Georgia Wins 2, Uruguay Wins 4, Draws 0
  • World Ranking Comparison – Georgia 13th, Uruguay 18th

Prediction – Uruguay have the better head to head record in this contest, despite being ranked lower than Georgia. With the game being in Tblisi, I fancy Georgia to come through this one and land an important win – Georgia 33-24 Uruguay.

England v Argentina

  • Venue – Twickenham, London
  • Kick Off – 3.15pm
  • Referee – Andrew Brace (IRFU)
  • Head to Head – Played 24, England Wins 19, Argentina Wins 4, Draws 1
  • World Ranking Comparison – England 5th, Argentina 8th

Prediction – Home advantage and a solid record against Argentina (England have won the last ten) means England are 1/9 favourites here, and I think they will win but it will be closer than people expect – England 28-24 Argentina

Alongside these fixtures, there are also a number of other games to be played over the coming weeks in this pre-World Cup series.

Bet365 will also be offering a wide range of betting on all these games, all of which will contribute to the World Rankings for each team ahead of next year’s World Cup in France.

Week Three

  • Georgia v Samoa
  • Romania v Uruguay
  • Spain v Namibia
  • Netherlands v Canada
  • England v Japan
  • Ireland v Fiji
  • Italy v Australia
  • Wales v Argentina
  • France v South Africa
  • Tonga v Chile
  • All Blacks XV v Barbarians
  • Scotland v New Zealand

Week Four

  • Tonga v Uruguay
  • Canada v Namibia
  • Romania v Samoa
  • England v New Zealand
  • Wales v Georgia
  • Italy v South Africa
  • Scotland v Argentina
  • Ireland v Australia
  • French Barbarians v Fiji
  • France v Japan

Week Five

  • England v South Africa
  • Wales v Australia

A number of the biggest games between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere biggest teams are being shown live on the Amazon Prime streaming service, so if you have that facility available you will be able to tune in to watch the games.

*All odds shown in this article were correct at the time of writing with bet365 Sport. However, the odds may have changed in the meantime.