The main talking points ahead of the Autumn Nations Cup finale

England and France have set up a Twickenham showdown.

The main talking points ahead of the Autumn Nations Cup finale

England and France will go head to head to decide who will be crowned champions of the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the main talking points ahead of next weekend’s tournament finale.

More joy for Jones?

Since losing last year’s World Cup final to South Africa, the only blot on England’s copybook was defeat to France back in early February. Eddie Jones’ relentless side have gone on to notch seven successive Test wins during an impressive revival. They will be looking to round off a more-than-satisfactory year by avenging defeat at the Stade de France and adding another trophy to their recent Six Nations triumph.

French farce

France coach Fabien Galthie has limited selection options for the game with England
France coach Fabien Galthie has limited selection options for the game with England (PA)

Welsh woe

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, pictured, has endured a difficult year since succeeding Warren Gatland
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac, pictured, has endured a difficult year since succeeding Warren Gatland (David Davies/PA)

Will wooden spoon match go ahead?

Georgia will be eager to build on their vastly-improved display produced in Sunday’s defeat to Ireland. However, their fixture against Fiji – scheduled to be played on Saturday at Murrayfield – remains in doubt as each of their opponents’ Group B matches were cancelled due to Covid-19 protocols. Fiji defeated the Lelos 45-10 in the pool stage of last year’s World Cup and they would undoubtedly welcome an opportunity to repeat that result following an incredibly frustrating few weeks.

Finish with a flourish?

Organisers deserve credit for staging an alternative to the traditional end-of-year tours by the southern hemisphere giants but the tournament has been more a test of endurance than a rugby feast for the eyes. The continued absence of supporters due to coronavirus restrictions has significantly decreased the spectacle and contributed to a series of limp contests. Will the tournament finish with a flourish? France’s selection issues suggest not.

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