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Autumn Internationals: England complete clean sweep

Eddie Jones’ England side deliver impressive wins over Argentina, Australia, and Samoa in the 2017 Old Mutual Wealth Series

England completed a clean sweep of victories over Argentina, Australia, and Samoa from their autumn series. The England National Team won all three of their matches in the 2017 Autumn International Series. After a slow start against Argentina in their opening match, England picked up their pace and ran up a big score against their old rivals the Australia Wallabies in the second match. In their last match of the series, England scored 7 tries against Samoa to make it 22 wins from 23 matches since Eddie Jones took over as head coach. Jones' ledger of 22 wins from 23 Tests is remarkable. The team have made a habit of pulling up and fighting for victory and pulling clear by scoring intense bursts of tries similar to New Zealand. Their new and improved skills add to their confidence and composure. Although the positive results are piling up under Jones' leadership, England has been lucky at times and there remain areas in need of improvement including consistency and the quality of the attacks.

Described as a "foundation captain" by his coach Eddie Jones, England captain Dylan Hartley is now is looking he will lead England into the 2019 World Cup. Owen Farrell was seen as his eventual successor but the rugby player's rude communication with the referee against Australia counts against him. There was no faulting the leadership of Chris Robshaw and George Ford against Samoa, however, a noticeable drop in on-field chat in Hartley's absence was evident. Northampton hooker Hartley’s strong form and his claim to the captain’s role long-term has strengthened this month. Nine changes were made against Samoa as England emerged conclusive 48-14 winners, underlining the options and depth of playing resources available to Jones. Certain positions are still a concern; the third choice at tight head prop; number eight; and scrum-half are available to the best rugby players. Jones knows the number of world-class players at his disposal to take a strong squad to Japan 2019. Eddie Jones’ returned to their clubs on Monday aware that they have only a short amount of time to show they can be part of an England side that is in form to win the World Cup in Japan. England ended the Autumn Internationals with a 48-14 victory against Samoa at Twickenham to give them a record of 9 wins in 10 Tests in 2017, and 22 in 23 since Jones took over as head coach at the end of the last World Cup, when Stuart Lancaster’s team failed to make it out of their group.

“It was a great learning experience for the players,” said Jones. “A number were playing their first big Test: some struggled and others did well. It was the sort of match we needed, against a side we were expected to beat by a big score. We started the game well and thought it would be easy. It was a bit of a muddling performance from us, maybe getting a little bit seduced by the perceived easiness of the game. We stopped doing the small things well, we got pulled back and then finished the game off. Some players will be disappointed and they have plenty to reflect on. The squad breaks up now and the players have eight weeks to show their desire to be part of a World Cup-winning side. It is about how hard they want to work. We have great competition for places and have awarded 12 new caps this year. We have people competing for every position and we are moving in the right direction with three good wins this month. The Six Nations will be difficult because everyone wants to beat us,” he said. “We are put under great pressure every game and we will have to prepare really well. We have a chance to create history in the tournament and we have got to get better every game, hanging in there and doing the small things better.”

Mighty England are in pursuit of New Zealand at the top of the world rankings, with the two teams finally meeting at Twickenham in a year’s time. “I read comments about the All Blacks being in decay,” said Jones. “When you have a 93% winning record and are in decay, you are not doing too badly. We get criticised when we are at 95%.” The England captain Dylan Hartley came off the bench to replace Jamie George for the final 17 minutes. Hartley said he was more satisfied with the result than the performance. “We were not clinical enough and our discipline let us down,” said Hartley. “The result is key, but we can be better in so many areas. We had a number of new combinations and it was always going to be a difficult game against a talented side but we talked about doing the basics well and failed to do so. We have got to look at ourselves, but we learned a lot from the game and the coaches have got a lot to think about.”

Buy 2018 England Six Nations Tickets

England’s next match is against Italy in Rome in the Six Nations on 4 February. They will be bidding to become the first team to win the tournament three seasons in a row. England are targeting a third successive Six Nations title in 2018 as they prepare for the most challenging championship of Eddie Jones’ tenure to date where England will go head-to-head with Scotland and Ireland. Scotland whalloped Australia in their Autumn Internationals clash. England visit Edinburgh on February 24. At Twickenham Stadium, Ireland will also prove formidable opponents.

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2017 Autumn Internationals Results

Saturday 4th November 2017
Japan 30-63 Australia International Stadium, Yokohama Attendance: 43,621
Barbarians 22-31 New Zealand Twickenham Stadium, London Attendance: 62,546

Saturday 11th November 2017
Italy 19-10 Fiji Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania Attendance: 12,343
Scotland 44-38 Samoa BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 67,144
England 21-8 Argentina Twickenham Stadium, London Attendance: 81,683
Wales 21-29 Australia Principality Stadium, Cardiff Attendance: 70,275
Ireland 38-3 South Africa Aviva Stadium, Dublin Attendance: 51,000
France 18-38 New Zealand Stade de France, Paris Attendance: 78,561

Tuesday 14th November 2017
France 23-28 New Zealand Parc OL, Lyon Attendance: 58,607

Saturday 18th November 2017
Italy 15-31 Argentina Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence Attendance: 21,874
Wales 13-6 Georgia Principality Stadium, Cardiff Attendance: 55,310
England 30-6 Australia Twickenham Stadium, London Attendance: 81,909
Scotland 17-22 New Zealand BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 67,144
Ireland 23-20 Fiji Aviva Stadium, Dublin Attendance: 51,000
France 17-18 South Africa Stade de France, Paris Attendance: 55,000

Saturday 25th November 2017
Italy 6-35 South Africa Stadio Euganeo, Padua Attendance: 23,595
Scotland 53-24 Australia BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Attendance: 67,144
England 48-14 Samoa Twickenham Stadium, London Attendance: 81,911
Wales 18-33 New Zealand Principality Stadium, Cardiff Attendance: 74,000
Ireland 28-19 Argentina Aviva Stadium, Dublin Attendance: 51,000
France 23-23 Japan U Arena, Paris

Saturday 2nd December 2017
Wales v South Africa Principality Stadium, Cardiff Kick off: 2:30pm