Predictions: November Tests, Top 14

Date published: November 11 2016

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We're into the November Tests good and proper this weekend, England's clash with South Africa top of the bill on Saturday.

Ireland's shock win over the All Blacks has reminded us that anything is possible and for that reason we head into a run of nine Tests over the next few days ready for more surprises.

See who we're backing below.

NOVEMBER TESTS

First things first, sign up for November predictions game with the good folks over at SuperBru!

England v South Africa

Preview: Many believe that drought will end this weekend due to the English enjoying an impressive year under Eddie Jones while the Springboks are in a completely different boat going into the game.

Prediction: South Africa seem to be lacking in confidence and ideas at the moment and therefore we'll go for England to win by 12.

Wales v Argentina

Preview: [Argentina head coach] Daniel Hourcade has a team that’s building nicely and will be a force once again when the World Cup comes around.

Prediction: It would be some achievement for Wales to put everything right from last week and that is why we go for Argentina by 5.

Italy v New Zealand

Preview: The Azzurri face a daunting task as the All Blacks will be keen to return to their winning ways after suffering a shock 40-29 defeat to Ireland in Chicago last weekend.

Prediction: Although this is not the world champions’ first-choice run-on side, they should have little trouble against their hosts. New Zealand to win by 18 points.

Scotland v Australia

Preview: After an encouraging World Cup campaign followed by two victories in the Six Nations, there is plenty of optimism in Scottish rugby at the moment.

PredictIon: Last year's World Cup heartbreak is sure to add some extra spice to the game. Australia by 10-15.

Barbarians v Fiji

Preview: The Barbarians scored some scintillating tries against the Springboks and Fiji will have their hands full against Robbie Deans’ charges.

Prediction: Points shouldn't be in short supply in Belfast, as we expect the invitational side to clinch the win. Barbarians by 15.

France v Samoa

Preview: Les Bleus head into this encounter after winning just three out of seven matches so far this year.

Prediction: France can expect a tough challenge from the islanders who will be keen to get their tour off to a fine start. The hosts will prove too strong, however. France to win by 15 points!

Ireland v Canada

Preview: Ireland must use the game against Canada to build on what happened last week and keeping the confidence they will most surely need to conquer the All Blacks for a second time in three weeks.

Prediction: Joe Schmidt's changes mean plenty of new caps and exciting tries, but we expect Ireland to still win comfortably. Ireland by 30.

Other November Test predictions:

Georgia v Japan: Georgia by 6
Spain v Tonga: Tonga by 15
Romania v USA: USA by 7


TOP 14

La Rochelle v Toulouse

La Rochelle have been the surprise package in the Top 14 this season – not just getting off to a fast start, leading the table after the first few rounds, but maintaining that burst out of the blocks through the first ten rounds of the season. Rather than Toulon or Racing or Montpellier, it's La Rochelle who sit in second place behind Clermont.

Forward power (and a smart finish from double try scorer Jérémie Maurouard were at the heart of their straightforward win over Pau last weekend and given that Toulouse are without several stars away on international duty, a trip to the Stade Marcel Deflandre on Sunday comes at a tough time. For that reason, we're backing the hosts. La Rochelle by 7.

Other Top 14 predictions:

Pau v Racing 92: Racing by 10
Castres v Brive: Castres by 6
Grenoble v Bordeaux-Bègles: UBB by 8
Montpellier v Lyon: Montpellier by 5
Bayonne v Clermont: Clermont by 12
Toulon v Stade Français: Toulon by 15

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