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

North Middlesex teen Ethan Bamber made his Middlesex debut on Sunday and picked up his maiden first-class wicket

11:26

Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has backed new head coach Unai Emery to deliver on his pressing ethos.

The Shepherd’s Cot club are 26 points from safety now with only 20 left to play for this season

07:49

Middlesex’s Robbie White admitted it had been a frustrating second day for them in their County Championship Division Two contest at Northamptonshire on Monday.

Yesterday, 21:10

The Arsenal U23, now led by Freddie Ljungberg, took on Brighton U23 at the Emirates. Read on for Layth Yousif’s on-the-whistle match report.

Yesterday, 20:57

Arsenal U23s led by Freddie Ljungberg took on Brighton U23s at the Emirates on Monday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Yesterday, 18:35

A fine bowling display from Northamptonshire’s seamers forced Middlesex to follow-on at Wantage Road on the second day of their Division Two match.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Middlesex’s James Harris grabbed five wickets on day one of his side’s County Championship match at Wantage Road as Northants ended on 332-8.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

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