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Manu Tuilagi’s return is a boost for England
Free rugby tips, best bets and analysis for Sunday’s autumn international between England and Argentina at Twickenham
Where to watch
Amazon Prime, 2.15pm Sunday
Under 6.5 tries
3pts 10-11 Betfair
In less than a year from now England will begin their Rugby World Cup campaign against Argentina in Marseille, and the Pumas are their opening opponents of the autumn as head coach Eddie Jones looks to fine-tune his preparations.
Matches against New Zealand and South Africa at the end of the month will clearly be at the forefront of Jones’s thinking, but a winning start to a run of four Tests is clearly huge and England will be keyed up for this clash.
The teams met in the pool stage at the last World Cup when England ran out 39-10 winners but were playing against 14 men for more than an hour.
November meetings at Twickenham have been less convincing as England have won the last two by 13 points – 21-8 in 2017 and 27-14 the year before – so handicaps of 14 to 15 points are hard to contest.
Injuries have deprived Jones of winger Jonny May and forward Courtney Lawes, who has captained the side this year, but Owen Farrell is available while the return of Manu Tuilagi in midfield can be seen as a big boost in Jones’s often-voiced demand for bigger backs.
The coach also has Joe Cokanasiga on the wing, so there is a powerful ball-carrying presence in the backline, and England also have two playmakers in fly-half Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell at 12.
But it’s hard to escape the feeling that this will be above all a physical battle up front. Jones has a big pack at his disposal with Maro Itoje named in the back row and six forwards on the bench, while the Pumas forwards are renowned for their power in the scrum and at the breakdown.
With rain forecast and an element of rust sure to be present in both sides it is hard to see this turning into an open, free-scoring encounter.
Betfair and Paddy Power have set their points line at 51.5 but of more interest is a total tries line of 6.5. There have been no more than four in any of the seven meetings between the teams in England this century.
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Publish date : 2022-11-05 16:31:14