Forever Autumn (Internationals) Rugby War Of The Worlds

“The summer sun is fading as the year grows old,
And darker days are drawing near,
The winter winds will be much colder,
Now you’re not here”.
Yes it’s that time of year again, when fixtures that used to be so magical, so rare and so hugely anticipated have sadly become repetitive and run of the mill.
In Wales, we face Australia and South Africa for the umpteenth year in a row and nothing much changes, except hopefully the results.
Australia always seem to visit Cardiff in a state of crisis only to find their mojo at the Principality stadium on what appears to be an annual basis.
“Like the sun through the trees you came to love me
like a leaf on a breeze you blew away”
Just as the Lions are being devalued, I find the autumn international fixtures equally so, it was the rarerity of these fixtures that made them so anticpated and so special,but this is the professional era and I guess I have to move with the times, and in the build up to the Rugby World Cup they are great preparation exercises.
As the saying goes nostalgia is not what it used to be, and to be fair there are some intriguing matches across Europe next month.
England v New Zealand, France v Fiji, and Ireland v New Zealand  are the three that I would choose to attend but sadly I will not be going to any of them, however France v Argentina in Lille is one game I am looking forward to covering.
It’s worth remembering that the women’s game also has a comprehensive programme this autumn, perhaps the most intriguing event being the two test series between France and NZ Black Ferns who play each other in Toulon and Grenoble.
The Red Roses of England face USA, Canada and Ireland on consecutive weekends, whilst The Flowers  of Scotland face Italy in Calvisano and Canada at Scotstoun.
Wales Women play three matches at Cardiff Arms Park against South Africa, Hong Kong and Canada.
Ireland as well as Playing England at Twickenham, following the match between the men of England and Australia, also face the USA in Donnybrook.
Elsewhere in Europe Spain lionesses will play Hong Kong and South Africa in the relative warmth of Villajoysa, near Alicante.
Maybe there is some freshness despite the familiarity and Autumn may not be so bad after all.
Through autumn’s golden gown we used to kick our way,
You always loved this time of year
Those fallen leaves lie undisturbed now
‘Cause you’re not here.

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