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The Summer Internationals get underway with a bang this weekend, as Ireland tour New Zealand, and England travel to Australia.
England find themselves going into the three-test series ahead of their Aussie opposition in the world rankings by one position, but both are behind Ireland in fourth, who are in for a tough test against the All-Blacks, ranked third in the world.
Both sides play their first games of their respective series on Saturday, so we’ve asked Paddy Power Trader Ciaran Heuze to come up with the goods ahead of these clashes. Let’s get his verdict on the action…
8.05am BST, Sky Sports Main Event
It will be a much-changed Ireland team to the side that lost 32-17 to the Maori All Blacks earlier this week, although there are a few injury doubts coming in. I do think New Zealand overall will have too much for them on home soil.
Looking at the handicap (-10) I think the All Blacks will probably pull away late on, particularly when they do look for those replacements to come in. Ireland don’t have that same depth there, and they won’t be able to keep up as the clock ticks down, so I think New Zealand will cover the handicap in this one.
Even though I do think New Zealand will win, I’m looking at Robbie Henshaw as a good shout for an anytime tryscorer. He’s a good price, and he’s a big game player.
New Zealand have an untried midfield partnership too, which could be exploited, so Robbie Henshaw to score anytime looks a good shout to me.
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10.55am BST, Sky Sports Main Event
England are coming off the back of another disappointing Six Nations, but I think they showed in patches that they are a better team than those results show and they have a great record against Australia – having not lost the last eight times they’ve played dating back to 2015.
That included a three-test tour in 2016, where they won 3-0, and I think England will get off to a good start again this weekend. I think England will win what will probably be a tight game.
For a tryscorer, I’m gonna go for a player that’s coming back in after being out in the wilderness for a few years, and that’s Danny Care. He’s had a great season at club level, with Harlequins, scoring nine tries throughout the season.
He’ll be keen to prove a point, so I’d be looking at Danny Care as an anytime tryscorer option in this one.
New Zealand v Ireland
Australia v England
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