World dom­i­na­tion! Tour raT­ing 9/ 10

only Fiji pre­vented a home na­tions clean sweep on the sum­mer tours, as Alan Pearey re­ports

Rugby World - - NEWS -

ot All eyes were on the lions dur­ing June as each of the four home na­tions hit the road, from Apia to shi­zouka. And what suc­cess they en­joyed, with nine wins from ten tests the best re­turn from any year in the pro era when all four na­tions have toured (see graphic). We as­sess how each coun­try fared…

nEng­land (2-0)

Ar­gentina 34-38 Eng­land, san Juan Ar­gentina 25-35 Eng­land, santa Fe De­spite miss­ing about 30 play­ers, Eng­land achieved a se­ries win over a fired-up Pu­mas side that they will meet in pool play at RWC 2019.

Ed­die Jones blooded 11 debu­tants and was re­warded by what Brian Moore called “glo­ri­ously flawed” at­tack­ing rugby – be­tween the teams there were 45 clean breaks!

ge­orge Ford was ma­jes­tic, scor­ing 38 points, but al­most ev­ery English­man en­hanced his rep­u­ta­tion and Jones now has an enor­mous well of tal­ent from which to build to­wards the next World Cup.

Find of the tour Harry Wil­liams. two years af­ter Ex­eter plucked him from Jer­sey, the 25-year- old Ex­eter tight­head came through a daunt­ing bap­tism with fly­ing colours.

Magic mo­ment Eng­land were lethal from turnovers, none more so than Mike Brown’s catch, foot­work and off­load for Piers Fran­cis’s try.

Scot­land (2-1)

Italy 13-34 scot­land, sin­ga­pore Aus­tralia 19-24 scot­land, syd­ney Fiji 27-22 scot­land, suva scot­land rose to fifth in the world rankings on the back of a five-try

spank­ing of Italy and a first-ever Syd­ney vic­tory over the Wal­la­bies.

De­feat to Fiji was dis­ap­point­ing but coach Gre­gor Townsend said: “We've got the tem­plate on how we can beat the world’s best teams.”

Cen­tre Nick Grigg was the only new cap on a tour that sug­gested Scot­land might stick with Ali Price’s pacy game at No 9 – even when Greig Laid­law re­turns to the fold.

Find of the tour Lock Ben Too­lis was a man pos­sessed against Italy, with nine li­ne­outs, two steals and huge work-rate in tackle and maul.

Magic mo­ment Ross Ford be­came the most- capped Scot ( 110) and he marked it with three tries – his last Test score had been in 2008! His sec­ond in Sin­ga­pore was a beaut.

TOUR RAT­ING 8/ 10 WALES (2-0)

Tonga 6-24 Wales, Auck­land Samoa 17-19 Wales, Apia

They weren’t the pret­ti­est matches but tour coach Robin McBryde will get a big pat on the back from War­ren Gat­land. Wales blooded 11 new caps in the two games and were hit by a sick­ness bug in Apia, yet still nailed back-to-back wins.

St­eff Evans’s try sealed vic­tory in Apia and how pleas­ing to see two front-rows, Ryan Elias and Dil­lon Lewis, coolly de­liver the fi­nal passes.

Find of the tour Af­ter three years in the wilder­ness, fl anker Aaron Shin­gler pro­duced two thump­ing displays, with 17 tack­les v Tonga and a vi­tal charge- down in Samoa.

Magic mo­ment It was only Wales’ third visit to Samoa and the joy­ous faces in the crowd showed how much the lo­cals ap­pre­ci­ated it.

TOUR RAT­ING 7.5/ 10 IRE­LAND (3-0)

USA 19-55 Ire­land, Har­ri­son, NJ Ja­pan 22-50 Ire­land, Shi­zouka Ja­pan 13-35 Ire­land, Tokyo Just the eight new boys for Ire­land, who ran in 21 tries and put a mas­sive marker down against Ja­pan ahead of their World Cup meet­ing in 2019.

Lock James Ryan (20) and prop An­drew Porter (21) played their part in a tour well led by Rhys Rud­dock.

Find of the tour Le­in­ster No 8 Jack Co­nan made some se­ri­ous yardage and bagged three tries. A new big gun in Ire­land’s back-row mix.

Magic mo­ment Keith Earls’ s first try in Shizuoka, which came from a mon­ster Ir­ish scrum and Co­nan’s down field charge and off load.

TOUR RAT­ING 7.5/ 10

Fine run

It’s now 19 wins out of 20 for Ed­die Jones’s side

a real hand­ful Ire­land’s Jack Co­nan shows his phys­i­cal­ity

Brave­hearts Cel­e­bra­tions in Syd­ney

Welsh beef

Cory Allen v Tonga

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