Rugby under fire and referees – talking points ahead of England v South Africa

The Springboks have not won at Twickenham in three Tests dating back to 2014.

Rugby under fire and referees – talking points ahead of England v South Africa

England complete their autumn schedule when South Africa visit Twickenham in Saturday’s rematch of the 2019 World Cup final.

Here the PA news agency examines five talking points heading into the clash.

Jones demands respect for officials

Rassie Erasmus
Rassie Erasmus will not be in charge of the Springboks at Twickenham (Adam Davy/PA)

Rugby in the dock

Bill Sweeney
RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney (Nick Ansell/PA)

Red rose rescue act

Even if South Africa are toppled, it will have been a middling autumn. Losing to Argentina in the series opener was a hammer blow and while authority was restored against a disappointing Japan, it took a stunning late comeback to draw with New Zealand and spare Jones uncomfortable questions over the direction of the team. But those questions will surface if the Springboks storm Twickenham, where they have not won in three Tests dating back to 2014.

Itoje v Etzebeth

Maro Itoje and Eddie Jones
Maro Itoje, left, has drawn praise from England coach Eddie Jones (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Tuilagi hits 50

Eleven years after making his debut against Wales, Manu Tuilagi finally reaches a half century of caps. One of England’s most effective players would have amassed almost three times that number had he not been hit by a cruel succession of injuries that have punched large holes in his Test career. England and Tuilagi’s club Sale have worked together in designing a training and rehab programme that has managed to keep the powerful centre of Samoan heritage available for the entire autumn – no mean feat – and the nation will be praying that he stays fit for next year’s World Cup.

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