The Aussies face the All Blacks in Perth for the first time in Bledisloe history this weekend before heading to Eden Park where they have failed to claim a win since 1986.
Waugh thinks that following the All Blacks showings so far in this year’s shortened Rugby Championship indicate that the team is in decline and are there for the taking.
“Coming off that draw, they should have beaten the Springboks. They should have closed out that game. We go over to Perth and have a good win in Perth, and then we go to Eden Park and you beat the All Blacks for the first time since 1986. I know I’m sounding really optimistic here, but things turn around very quickly,” he said.
The 79-test Wallaby went on to say that the losses of the likes of key players such as Brodie Retallick and the shifting of players in recent matches has made the All Blacks vulnerable.
“You lose [Brodie] Retallick, who’s probably their most dominant forward. They’ve put Richie Mo’unga in at 10, Beauden Barrett’s gone back to 15, so you actually go, ‘well, all of a sudden, there’s a few different combinations there for the All Blacks, too’. They haven’t got the settled look, without Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith,” he added.
The 39-year-old finished off by saying that the movement of Barrett to full-back and the constant changing of scrum-half could cost the All Blacks their third World Cup in-a-row.
“If you go through World Cup history, to win, your nine and 10 really need to click, and you go right back to 1987, when it was [David] Kirk and Grant Fox. You need to have a really good combination at nine and 10, and that’s probably a little undecided at the moment,” he concluded.
The All Blacks have a history of starting their seasons slowly before hitting their awesome best, but Waugh is under the impression that this could be the year that the Wallabies end their 17-year wait for a Bledisloe Cup victory.
However, the Wallabies have also only won eight of 47 tests against the All Blacks since 2002 so to win two-in-a-row would be some achievement. We will have to wait and see if Waugh’s prediction turns out to become a reality.
England’s Final November Test Confirmed
England have announced their fourth and final opponent of their November series this year
England have confirmed that Tonga will be their fourth opponent in their November series this year.
The game will take place at Twickenham on Saturday November 21st at 15:15 in what will be the third of their four tests.
It will be the fourth meeting of the two sides, but their first outside of a Rugby World Cup. They last played against one another last year at the World Cup in Japan, when England won as they have done on the other previous two occasions.
While after the Tongan encounter they face another southern hemisphere team in Australia on the 28th in the final of their Quilter Internationals for 2020.
Those tests could go a long way to deciding England’s seeding in the draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, with the draw set to take place at some point in November.
Before then the English will be focusing on the Six Nations, where they remain in title contention heading into the last two rounds.
Rugby Australia Claim Fox Sports Haven’t Walked Away
Last week it was reported that Fox Sports are set to end their 25-year long relationship with Australian Rugby, but Rugby Australia have now said otherwise
Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has claimed that Fox Sports haven’t walked away from the Wallabies and believes they could continue their relationship into the future.
Last week it was reported that the media organisation were set to end their 25-year relationship with Rugby Australia, but despite not having come to a deal that suits all Castle’s believes they will bid for rights next month.
“We went through a negotiating process with them (Fox Sports) through their exclusive negotiating period. Unfortunately we couldn’t get to a place we were both comfortable with. So now we’re in tender and we would expect that as a market process they would step into that process,” she said.
Reports state that Fox Sports had ended their relationship with Rugby Australia after the two bodies failed to find common ground on a deal between 2021 and 2025.
Rugby Australia and Castle are set to make a historic move next month when they bring the broadcast rights to the market for the first time since the professional era began, but as stated above she is confident of an agreement between the two either way.
There is a fear among many that Australia’s struggling Super Rugby sides, three of which remain without a win so far this season, will make it harder for the organisation to get a good deal over the line.
However, all will become clearer by next month and Castle and co will be hoping that they can get the best deal possible.
Ireland Climb in Latest World Rankings
Ireland have had the biggest boost in the latest World Rugby Rankings ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw later this year
The boys in green have taken over the No 4 spot in the rankings following their 24-14 win over Wales in the Six Nations over the weekend, with their opponents dropping down to fifth.
It is a major boost for the Irish and gives them something to hold on to heading into the rest of this year’s fixtures as they are now currently in the top seeds ahead of the draw for the pool stages of France 2023.
World Rugby announced recently that they will hold the draw later this year meaning that teams will have less time to climb the rankings than last time around when they had 18 months between the previous World Cup and the draw for the next one.
A total of twelve teams will head into the draw as seeds in three brackets with the top four in the rankings being first seeds, meaning as of now Wales would be second seeds along with France, Australia and Japan.
Elsewhere in the rankings Georgia have moved up ahead of Italy, following the former’s latest two defeats in the Six Nations, while the biggest risers have been Portugal, who have moved from 22nd to 20th, but Russia have dived from 20th to 25th.
Ireland will be hoping to continue their perfect start to the Six Nations campaign when they take on the third-ranked team England away from home, whom they may look to overtake in the rankings before the draw.
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