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Friday, July 23, 2021

England to face Tonga first in autumn internationals

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Tonga have been confirmed as England’s first opponents of the autumn internationals at Twickenham.

Eddie Jones’ men will face the Pacific Islanders on 6 November, before hosting Australia and South Africa on successive weekends.

England beat Tonga 35-3 in their last meeting during the group stage of the 2019 World Cup.

“This match will continue our rivalry from the World Cup where we had a good, tough game against them,” Jones said.

“They produce a lot of good players and play physical, exciting rugby. It’s a great way to start our autumn internationals.”

England finished fifth in this year’s Six Nations, but they comfortably overcame the United States and Canada earlier this month with a young squad featuring many debutants.

Jones said he expected to be able to select a “competitive group of players this autumn.”

“This summer it was great to be back playing in front of supporters at Twickenham. The difference it made to the players was enormous,” he said.

“With the young squad we had in July, the 13 players who joined up with the Lions and the others who have spent the summer regenerating, we know that it will be a strong, competitive group of players this autumn.”

The Rugby Football Union will make a donation to Tonga Rugby as a goodwill gesture.

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