It’s a bumper weekend of international rugby action in the Northern Hemisphere, with the reigning world champions and the best side on the planet both testing their mettle in Europe.

Jacques Nienaber’s Springboks face their first European test against Wales, while the All Blacks are in Rome to play Italy.

Scotland and Australia collide on Sunday, while England tee up for sterner Tests to follow against Tonga at Twickenham.

Ireland have Japan in their sights in Dublin, France meet Argentina in Paris and Spain have a date with Fiji.

International Rugby and fixtures 2021: Predictions explained

Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing. Score margins use the methodology developed by Rugby Vision.

Wales vs South Africa

south Africa vs wales rugby predictions 2021 internationals (4)

South Africa kick off their European Test tour with a visit to the Principality Stadium to take on Wales.

The Springboks head to Cardiff off the back of an up-and-down Rugby Championship campaign, which ended on a high when they toppled New Zealand.

Home coach Wayne Pivac makes six changes following the All Blacks’ drubbing of his youthful side last weekend.

Wales Starting XV: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Ellis Jenkins, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Rhys Carre.

Wales Replacements: 16 Bradley Roberts, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Ben Carter, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Liam Williams.

South Africa Starting XV: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Albertus Smith, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.

South Africa Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn.

England vs Tonga

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England continue their build up to Test matches against South Africa and Australia when they face Tonga at Twickenham on Saturday.

Red Rose coach Eddie Jones has been hit by Covid-19 concerns in the week, with captain Owen Farrell expected to lead from fly-half before testing positive for the coronavirus on Friday.

England Starting XV: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge.

Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Alex Dombrandt, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 George Furbank.

Tonga Starting XV: TBA

Replacements: TBA

Italy vs New Zealand

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New Zealand are fresh out of the box as they tackle Italy in Rome on Saturday in their rugby international.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has made wholesale changes to the side that thumped Wales in Cardiff last weekend.

Fellow Kiwi Kieran Crowley, meanwhile, take charge of the Azzurri for the first time, handing full-back Matteo Minozzi a recall.

Italy Starting XV: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Federico Mori, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Renato Giammariolo, 7 Michele Lamaro (captain), 6 Sebastian Negri, 4 David Sisi, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Danilo Fischetti.

Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Ivan Nemer, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Niccolo Cannone, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Braam Steyn, 22 Callum Braley, 23 Carlo Canna.

New Zealand Starting XV: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Braydon Ennor, 12 Quinn Tupaea, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Josh Lord, 4 Tupou Vaa’i, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles, 1 George Bower.

Replacements: 16 Asafo Aumua, 17 Ethan de Groot, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Samuel Whitelock, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 David Havili, 23 Jordie Barrett.

International Rugby: France vs Argentina

 France vs Argentina rugby predictions 2021 internationals (5)

Prepare for ‘Latin temperament’ cliches all over the place, as France and Argentina meet for their rugby international in Paris.

Romain Ntamack will feature at inside-centre for Les Bleus, while coach Fabien Galthie has given scrum-half Antoine Dupont the nod to captain the side.

Los Pumas head to the Stade de France off the back of a chastening Rugby Championship campaign in the Southern Hemisphere against New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

France Starting XV: 15 Melvyn Jaminet, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Romain Ntamack, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 8 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Cameron Woki, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Thibaud Flament, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille.

Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Jean-Baptise Gros, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Maxime Lucu, 23 Jonathan Danty.

Argentina Starting XV: 15 Emiliano Boffelli, 14 Bautista Delguy, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Jeronimo de la Fuente, 11 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Tomas Cubelli, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo.

Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Rodrigo Martinez, 18 Santiago Medrano, 19 Lucas Paulos, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Gonzalo Bertranou, 22 Nicolas Sanchez, 23 Lucio Cinti.

IIreland vs Japan

Ireland vs Japan rugby predictions 2021 internationals (1)

There’s a major milestone in Dublin on Saturday, as Ireland face Italy in their rugby international.

Johnny Sexton will lead his side out at the Aviva Stadium to mark his 100th appearance for his country.

Brave Blossoms coach Jamie Joseph has warned the Irish, meanwhile, that his side will be on the front foot for their clash with the European hosts.

Ireland Starting XV: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter.

Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Keith Earls.

Japan Starting XV: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Dylan Riley, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Ryoto Nakamura, 11 Siosaia Fifita, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Yutaka Nagare, 8 Kazuki Himeno, 7 Pieter Labuschagne (captain), 6 Ben Gunter, 5 James Moore, 4 Jack Cornelsen, 3 Jiwon Gu, 2 Atsushi Sakate, 1 Keita Inagaki.

Replacements: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Asaeli Ai Valu, 19 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 20 Tevita Tatafu, 21 Naoto Saito, 22 Rikiya Matsuda, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka.

Scotland vs Australia

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There’s a blockbuster rugby international on Sunday at Murrayfield, as Scotland go up against the challenge of Australia.

Stuart Hogg is among the big names to return to the Scottish line up, with six changes made by coach Gregor Townsend following last week’s tonking of Tonga.

Rory Arnold, Kurtley Beale and Will Skelton are among those back in favour for Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

Scotland Starting XV: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Pierre Schoeman.

Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Jamie Hodgson, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 George Horne, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Kyle Steyn.

Australia Starting XV: 15 Andrew Kellaway, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Hunter Paisami, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Rob Leota, 5 Izack Rodda, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.

Replacements: 16 Connal McInerney, 17 Angus Bell, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Pete Samu. 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Kurtley Beale, 23 Izaia Perese.