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What has Gatland learned from Wales' autumn series?

Media playback is not supported on this device Well, all’s well that ends well. Wales and Warren Gatland’s autumn of trials, tribulations and a host of injuries has ended with a third consecutive home win against South Africa. That comes after they were beaten by Australia and New Zealand while experimenting with selection and attacking formations; disrupted by injuries and English-based players’ club commitments; and unimpressive in beating Georgia. What have the autumn Tests taught us about Wales and their prospects looking ahead to the Six Nations, which they open…

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England Women agree historic pay deal for autumn matches

England’s women will receive a match fee for the first time during the autumn internationals after the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Players’ Association finalised a deal. Last month, the RFU said the 35-strong Elite Player Squad would receive an annual fee and a match fee. The figures are confidential, although the BBC understands a player involved in all matches will make between £4,000 and £5,000 in total this autumn. England face Canada later this month. The opener for coach Simon Middleton’s side in the three-Test series is at…

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Kings in the north, can England close gap on All Blacks in autumn Tests?

Autumn internationals Coverage: Live BBC TV coverage of Wales & Scotland’s matches with live BBC Radio 5 live commentary and BBC Two highlights of England’s matches. Live text commentary of all Tests on BBC Sport website Over four weeks, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland will take the measure of the southern hemisphere’s finest in the autumn internationals. The action begins on Saturday with new Scotland coach Gregor Townsend overseeing his first game at Murrayfield, against Samoa. Later in the day, England take on Argentina,Wales play Australia and Ireland entertain South…

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Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly set to start England's opening autumn Test against Argentina

Wednesday, November 8, 2017 Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly are poised to start England’s opening autumn international against Argentina on the wings. Jonny May’s hamstring strain has made him unlikely to participate at Twickenham on Saturday, according to forwards coach Steve Borthwick, to simplify the back three selection picture. Daly’s rapid recovery from the knee ligament damage suffered on Wasps duty last month enables him to line up on the left wing, with Semesa Rokoduguni offering cover if May is ruled out. “Jonny hurt his hamstring in Portugal. He’s made…

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Bundee Aki earns first Ireland call-up for autumn internationals

Connacht’s battering-ram centre Bundee Aki has won his first Ireland call-up for the November internationals after completing his residency qualification. The New Zealand-born midfielder with Samoan parents has impressed consistently since joining Connacht in 2014, helping the Galway province lift the 2016 Guinness PRO12 title. The 27-year-old’s timely qualification will offset a clutch of midfield injuries for head coach Joe Schmidt, who has named four uncapped players in a 38-man squad for the Test clashes with South Africa, Fiji and Argentina. Schmidt has named the uncapped quartet of Aki, Leinster’s…

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Haskell left out of England squad for autumn internationals

Exeter back-row Sam Simmonds has received his first England call-up, but experienced flanker James Haskell has been left out of Eddie Jones’ 34-man squad for the autumn internationals. Sale wing Denny Solomona is included with uncapped Marcus Smith and Zach Mercer picked as “apprentice players”. After being suspended for the matches against the Pumas and Australia, prop Joe Marler has been left out. England face Argentina on 11 November, before playing Australia and Samoa. They host the Wallabies at Twickenham on 18 November before their last Test against Samoa on…

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England captain Hartley cleared for autumn internationals

England captain Dylan Hartley is free to play in the Autumn internationals after disciplinary action against him was dismissed. Hartley, along with number eight Nathan Hughes and prop Joe Marler all faced disciplinary action with the games less than three weeks away. Northampton’s Hartley, Wasps’ Hughes and Harlequins’ Marler were cited after the weekend’s European action. The cases against Hughes and Marler will be heard later. A statement from European Professional Club Rugby said: “The disciplinary committee found that Hartley had committed a reckless act of foul play in that…

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