Autumn Nations Series: England look to end autumn campaign on a high against world champions South Africa

Six Nations countries take on the best of the southern hemisphere and more this November - and BT customers can watch all the action on Prime Video

By Callum Davis Published: 24 November 2022 - 2.30pm

Less than a year out from the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, the best teams on the planet face-off this autumn, and you can watch it all on Prime Video with BT TV.

After another weekend of upsets, the final round of fixtures sees world champions South Africa take on England at Twickenham in the pick of two games on Saturday afternoon.

Elsewhere Wales, stunned by emerging nation Georgia, entertain Australia in a bid to salvage some pride from a nightmare autumn campaign. 

BT Sport Monthly Pass

Join the home of live sport for just £25 per month. Get instant access to the BT Sport app, with no contract and no BT broadband required.

England vs South Africa preview

This Saturday sees England and South Africa face-off for only second time since they met in the final of the 2019 World Cup in Japan - live on Prime Video from 4.30pm.

The last meeting between the two sides came 12 months ago, with England claiming a dramatic 27-26 win at HQ. 

Since losing out to South Africa in the 2019 showpiece, England head coach Eddie Jones' position has come under scrutiny after back-to-back years of under achievement in the Six Nations.

And with France 2023 less than 12 months away, England's World Cup countdown got off to an inauspicious start with defeat to Argentina in the opening weekend of the Autumn Nations Series. 

England bounced  back with a much-need victory over Japan to tee-up a first meeting with the All Blacks for three years last weekend. 

England scored three late tries to snatch an unlikely draw against New Zealand

England scored three tries in the final eight minutes to salvage a breathtaking draw after being outplayed by New Zealand for much of the match.

The All Blacks flew out the traps, scoring two tries in the opening nine minutes, with Codie Taylor driving over at the back of a maul after Dalton Papali'i intercepted Jack van Poortvliet's pass to cross for the first score of the game.

When Rieko Ioane gathered Richie Mo'unga's pin-point cross-field to score a third try and extend New Zealand's lead, it seemed the tourists were out of sight.

But England roared back into life in the final 10 minutes as replacement Will Stuart scrambled over to offer a glimmer of hope.

Freddie Steward dotted down in the corner before Stuart burrowed over again in the final minute, with Marcus Smith kicking the extras to level the game at 25-25.

Smith's decision to boot the ball dead on the final play rather than chase an unlikely victory was greeted with boos from sections of the Twickenham crowd.

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is suspended for the trip to Twickenham

Now England's autumn campaign concludes with a mouth-watering World Cup final rematch against South Africa.

South Africa are looking to end their tour on a high after going down to defeats at Ireland and France, although the world champions returned to winning ways with a 61-23 victory at Italy last weekend.

The Springboks have made six changes to the side that beat Italy for Saturday's Test at Twickenham.

The world champions will be without with a host of players, such as wing Cheslin Kolbe and number eight Jasper Wiese, obliged to return to their clubs as the match takes place outside the Test window.

Second row Eben Etzebeth comes back into the starting line-up with promising number eight Evan Roos winning his third cap.

Springbok director of rugby Rassie Erasmus will not be in attendance at Twickenham after he was given a two-week suspension by World Rugby.

Erasmus has been banned after he posted a string of tweets criticsing refereeing decisions from the Springboks losses to Ireland and France earlier this month.

South Africa's director of rugby Erasmus had only been allowed to return to the Springboks matchday set-up in October after a year's ban for his criticisms of the match officials during his team's series victory over the British and Irish Lions in 2021.

World Rugby has said that his social media commentary on refereeing decisions could have a corrosive effect on the grassroots game.

South Africa will be keen to let their rugby do the talking as they look to avenge last year's defeat at Twickenham.

Winger Jonny May celebrates England's win over South Africa 12 month ago

What happened last time England played South Africa?

England signed off on 2021 in style as they outfoxed and outfought 2019 Rugby World Cup final conquerors South Africa in front of a rapturous Twickenham crowd.

England had leapt out to a 17-6 lead midway through the first half as Manu Tuilagi and Freddie Steward crossed for the hosts.

But Handre Pollard's boot kept the Boks in the fight as they turned the screw after the break.

Raffi Quirke finished off an incisive attack for England, but the world champions' mix of rock-solid mentality and physicality seemed to have won it when Makazole Mapimpi went over out wide on 69 minutes.

However, England fought to the death and fly-half Marcus Smith held his nerve to slot the decisive penalty in the 79th minute.

England team to play South Africa

Eddie Jones has wrung the changes for Saturday's final Test match of the autumn against the Springboks.

Northampton winger Tommy Freeman, who impressed on the summer tour of Australia, replaces Jack Nowell in one of four changes from last weekend's draw with the All Blacks.

Ellis Genge and Luke Cowan-Dickie have dropped to the bench with Mako Vunipola and hooker Jamie George coming into the starting line-up.

Alex Coles replaces Sam Simmonds at flanker, while Jack van Poortvliet continues at scrum-half despite a error-strewn performance last time out.

Elsewhere Manu Tuilagi, who scored in England's win over South Africa last November, is in line to claim his 50th cap.

"This is our last game of the autumn and our chance to continue building on the improvements we have made throughout the matches," said Jones. 

"We have made steady progress from game-to-game, culminating in a pulsating draw against New Zealand.

"Now we have the chance to test ourselves against the might of the world champions. We’re going out there to light the crowd up. The support at Twickenham was outstanding last week and we want to work hard on the pitch to make sure we have another atmosphere like that again on Saturday."

England squad

Forwards

Alex Coles, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, David Ribbans, Bevan Rodd, Sam Simmonds, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Hugh Tizard, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola

Backs

Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Guy Porter, Henry Slade, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Jack van Poortvliet, Ben Youngs

Autumn Nations Series results & fixtures

Saturday 5 November

Italy 49-17 Samoa

Scotland 28-12 Fiji

Wales 23-55 New Zealand

Ireland 19-16 South Africa

France 30-29 Australia

Sunday 6 November

England 29-30 Australia

Saturday 12 November

Ireland 35-17 Fiji 

Italy 28-27 Australia 

England 52-13 Japan 

Wales 20-13 Argentina 

France 30-26 South Africa 

Sunday 13 November

Scotland 23-31 New Zealand 

Owen Farrell England Japan
England play the All Blacks for the first time since their epic semi-final showdown at the 2019 World Cup

Saturday 19 November

Wales 12-13 Georgia

Italy 21-63 South Africa

Scotland 52-29 Argentina 

England 25-25 New Zealand 

Ireland 13-10 Australia 

Sunday 20 November 

France 35-17 Japan - 12.30pm (1pm kick-off)

Saturday 26 November

Wales vs Australia - 2.30pm (3.15pm kick-off)

England vs South Africa - 4.30pm (5.30pm kick-off)