World domination! Tour raTing 9/ 10
only Fiji prevented a home nations clean sweep on the summer tours, as Alan Pearey reports
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…
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.
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
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
Cory Allen v Tonga