5 things we learned about the Autumn Nations Cup

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England won the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup by beating France 22-19 in an extra-time nail-biter at Twickenham.

The competition replaced the traditional autumn visits to the northern hemisphere by the likes of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand because of travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five things we learned from the eight-team tournament.

Winning ugly counts

England v France – Autumn Nations Cup – Twickenham
England and France fight it out at close quarters in the Autumn Nations Cup final at Twickenham (Adam Davy/PA)

May the force be with England

If excitement levels were regularly akin to a dark winter’s night, then England wing Jonny May provided the blazing summer sunshine. The Gloucester flier scored two tries in the 18-7 victory over Ireland and the second of those touchdowns – a spectacular solo effort – was among the finest scored at Twickenham. May, now joint second on England’s try list with 31, provides the rapier to formidable forward bludgeon. It is another reason why holders England are firm favourites to lift the Six Nations trophy again in 2021.

Wayne’s world not pretty

Wales v Georgia – Autumn Nations Cup – Parc y Scarlets
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac cut a frustrated figure during much of the Autumn Nations Cup (David Davies/PA)

Ireland and Scotland seek consistency

Ireland v Scotland – Autumn Nations Cup – Aviva Stadium
Ireland and Scotland had highs and lows during the autumn programme (Brian Lawless/PA)

Southern super-powers were missed

Australia Rugby New Zealand Argentina
Argentina shocked New Zealand to win their Tri-Nations Series match in Australia (Rick Rycroft/AP)

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