Autumn is the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” according to Keats, but he forget to mention the plethora of rugby internationals that take place at this time of year, it must surely have been an oversight on his part.
As darkness overtakes daylight in the territory and possession stats, international rugby is a glorious seasonally affected disorder antidote, unless of course your national team gets a pasting, in which case all you can do is hit the vitamin D supplements, and have a large glass of “mellow fruitfulness”
It all starts this Saturday in Cardiff when Wales face Australia in Cardiff.
Wales notoriously slow starters in the Autumn, have decided to kick off their series before all the other home nations, who begin their campaigns on November 12, I’m not sure that this will be the cure for their annual rustiness, but I am confident that they will improve as the series progresses.
If we use the the tortoise and the hare analogy, then historically Wales in the Autumn, are not just the tortoise, they are the tortoise with with a recurrent annual hamstring injury.
In fact Wales have only won an opening Autumn international once this century, and that was against Samoa in 2000.
South Africa, Australia, Japan, Argentina, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Canada all visit the UK and France during November and December, and each Monday I will be having a look at the forthcoming weekends fixtures, and reviewing the previous weekend’s entertainment.
There is a another match this weekend, with international flavour, as the Barbarians face South Africa at Wembley stadium.
The brittle Boks, minus their European based stars, will be hoping to gain some confidence before facing England on Nov 12, the Baa Baas will fancy their chances of pulling off a rare victory.
The dark short days of November will hopefully be illuminated by some exciting rugby, shame no one could afford to pay the asking price for an All Blacks fixture, although Ireland will face New Zealand this Saturday in Chicago, I guess the euro must be particularly strong against the dollar.
So get your tickets, your friends and your “mellow fruitfulness organised, and keep warm.
The Full List Of Autumn International Fixtures
Ireland Men and Women
The Red Roses
France, Scotland and Ireland unite in my big thank you to Mary, Mac and Siobhan for their continual support and kind words about all my words. It is hugely appreciated.