Search

Rugby Union: England seek third straight Six Nations title as they step up preparations for World Cup

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 January 2018

England captain Dylan Hartley lifts the Six Nations trophy after winning the tournament in 2017 (pic: Lorraine O'Sullivan/PA)

England captain Dylan Hartley lifts the Six Nations trophy after winning the tournament in 2017 (pic: Lorraine O'Sullivan/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

In an article from our ‘Year In Sport’ pullout, the next 12 months for Eddie Jones’ men are previewed

Sandwiched between a British & Irish Lions tour and a World Cup, 2018 might not look the most glamorous of years for rugby union.

However, England head coach Eddie Jones is acutely aware of how important the next 12 months could be towards ensuring success in Japan in 18 months time.

The Red Roses start the year chasing a third successive Six Nations title, and will want a Grand Slam too, having fallen just short of achieving a second successive one in 2017.

Skippered once again by Northampton Saints hooker Dylan Hartley, the two-time defending champions begin their campaign away in Italy on February 4.

England return home on February 10 to host Wales at Twickenham, before travelling to Scotland two weeks later.

The Red Roses then head for France on March 10, before ending the Six Nations once again against Ireland, although this time at rugby HQ.

Like he did in the autumn, Jones may regularly rotate his starting XV this spring, giving a chance to some of the country’s brightest talents.

The likes of Saracens wing Nathan Earle, Bath prop Beno Obano and Exeter Chiefs flanker Sam Simmonds may all be given an opportunity to impress.

A summer tour to South Africa then awaits England, though with the Springboks faltering at prseent, it no longer looks the arduous challenge it once was.

The first Test takes place in Johannesburg on June 9, before games in Bloemfontein (June 16) and Cape Town (June 30).

Jones’ men then end the year with four Tests in four weeks against four different nations in November.

The Springboks are the opposition again when England begin their Autumn Internationals on November 3.

A week later, New Zealand are in town for a hotly-anticipated clash between the top two teams in the world.

The Red Roses then entertain Japan – the hosts of next year’s World Cup and Jones’ former employers – on November 17, before welcoming Australia a week later.

Aside from the internationals, east London fans have the treat of an Aviva Premiership match in the area to look forward to.

Two-time defending European Cup champions Saracens have moved their home league game with Harlequins on March 24 to the London Stadium.

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 15:00

The new boys in the division earned another successful result last weekend, but were indebted to their skipper who shone with bat and ball

Yesterday, 12:49

In a busy week at Arsenal the club have unveiled their new home kit for next term – in a move sure to upset large numbers of the club’s diehard fans who favour traditionalism over change.

Yesterday, 11:34

Arsenal’s popular midfield maestro Santi Cazorla has left the club after coming to the end of his contract.

Yesterday, 10:43

“Unless Arsenal are playing an unbelievable game of cloak and dagger the job is Mikel Arteta’s”. So said my trusted inside source at the club as late as Thursday evening. He was right. The North London giants were.

Yesterday, 09:35

With Arsenal set to announce the former PSG and Sevilla manager Unai Emery as the club’s new manager read on for his best quotes.

Yesterday, 09:30

The Spurs forward has revealed his enormous pride at the prospect of leading the Three Lions out at this summer’s tournament

Yesterday, 09:07

With Arsenal set to appoint Unai Emery as their new boss, how much do you know about the 46-year-old Basque. Read on to learn more.

Yesterday, 08:37

Unai Emery is set to be appointed Arsenal boss this week.

PROMOTED CONTENT

“I try and do my best to enhance the young person’s capabilities. I’m very focused on their education, their wellbeing and their cultural needs.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now
$render.recurse($ctx, '$content.code.value')