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Autumn Tests - as they happened

RESULTS:

England 14-28 Australia

Scotland 10-14 South Africa

Ireland 3-22 New Zealand

LATEST ACTION (all times GMT)
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By Mark Orlovac

1915: Right, I think this seems like a good time to call it a day. It was a shame about the drab ending but you can't have it all. Hope you have enjoyed the commentary and thank you for all your comments and messages. They have kept me going. Take care and I'll see you soon.

"Ireland are still poor. You wonder why no-one questioned the players instead of Eddie O'Sullivan. NZ exposed them big time."
IrishGeordie on 606

"It was a mediocre game. The standard of play from both sides was not great. The flurry from New Zealand at the start of the second half put them in the armchair and they closed it out."
BBC Sport pundit Keith Wood

FULL-TIME: Ireland 3-22 New Zealand
Thankfully, the final whistle goes. The last 20 minutes of that game was truly awful. Nothing happened apart from a host of mistakes from both sides. In summary, New Zealand were in total control while Ireland never got going. The All Blacks are now two down, two to go on their Grand Slam tour of the home nations and on this evidence, I can't see Wales or England getting near them.

75 mins: Eddie Butler makes the comment in the BBC Sport studio that the "ball is becoming a liability". Too right. No-one wants to hold on to it. If I was at Croke Park, I would have left by now to beat the queue at the bar.

68 mins: O'Leary comes off and is replaced by Wasps scrum-half Eoin Reddan. The game is limping towards a conclusion now and I'm afraid to say that this has been a real anti-climax.

64 mins: New Zealand prod and probe, helped by lively scrum-half Piri Weepu - who has been impressive since his introduction. He pops up a quick one to Sivivatu from the base of a ruck, with the winger scoring, but the referee rules that the pass was forward.

62 mins: Stephen Ferris comes on for the clearly injured O'Connell.

"Superior rugby. The class of the All Blacks showing now. Time for a few changes, O'Connell not fit to continue."
mayodoug on 606

53 mins: TRY Ireland 3-22 New Zealand
As one of my colleagues has just mentioned, this could get very ugly, very quickly. New Zealand attack again, Sivivatu fires out a long pass to Brad Thorn on the wing, leaving the second row with just Tommy Bowe to beat. Thorn ignores Richie McCaw outside him and smashes through Bowe to score the third try of the game. Carter cannot add the extras. Ireland may have to wait for their first win over the All Blacks now.

47 mins: TRY Ireland 3-17 New Zealand
New Zealand centre Ma'a Nonu delivers a superb flat pass to wing Joe Rokocoko, who bursts through an enormous hole in the Ireland defence caused by the limping Paul O'Connell. Nonu collects the return and then outpaces the scrambling Irish cover to crash over. Simple and brilliant. Carter adds the conversion.

45 mins: Dan Carter drifts through the Irish defence and then manages to offload to keep the attack going. Brilliant. The ball eventually finds lock Ali Williams who checks and then tumbles over the line. Ireland get plenty of bodies underneath him though and there is no way the video ref can give it.

44 mins: With the penalty given to Ireland, O'Gara decides to go for goal from halfway but his attempt just drifts left.

43 mins: It's 14-14 at Croke Park as prop Tony Woodcock is yellow carded for a punch that is seen by the touch judge. In a way, Woodcock is lucky to have just had a yellow as referee Mark Lawrence asks if he should dish out a red.

41 mins: Ronan O'Gara restarts the game.

1820: New Zealand are out and ready for the second half but Ireland keep them waiting yet again.

"David Wallace caused carnage, as did Brian O'Driscoll in a different way, but it is about composure. Ireland are just forcing it a little bit. Ireland need to use the ball wisely and to play in New Zealand's 22."
BBC Sport pundit Keith Wood

"Definite penalty try, but the yellow card's a bit of overkill. Referee Lawrence is struggling, but it's not favouring either side."
fabuniquemembername on 606

"That was a penalty try. Bowe's first instinct, if he can get his hands to it, should be to touch the ball down. Why they put themselves in that situation is beyond me."
BBC Sport pundit Jonathan Davies

HALF-TIME: Ireland 3-10 New Zealand

40 mins: TRY Ireland 3-10 New Zealand
Drama in Dublin. Tommy Bowe flies across to knock the ball out of bounds in-goal to prevent Richie McCaw from touching down in the corner. The video ref says the try would have been scored and referee Mark Lawrence awards a penalty try while Bowe is sin-binned for the infringement. Carter converts from in front of the posts. What a controversial way to end the half. Hope this doesn't decide the result.

37 mins: PENALTY Ireland 3-3 New Zealand
Naughty, naughty Quinlan. He tramples all over New Zealand number eight Rodney So'oialo, who is lying prostrate on the floor at a ruck. The referee sees it but does not deem it serious enough to reverse an Ireland penalty he had already given after good Irish work at the breakdown. O'Gara drills the penalty low and through the posts. Ignore that bit I said about him looking uncomfortable.

36 mins: Sivivatu is forced to touch down in his own in-goal area as Tommy Bowe chases a neat grubber kick to the corner.

"David Wallace needs to work on his offloads... that's two dire ones that have resulted in turnovers from a good attacking position. Bring on Jennings!!"
JJ_irl on 606

32 mins: Ireland wing Rob Kearney takes a high shot from opposite number Sitiveni Sivivatu as he covers to collect a bouncing kick through. The touch judge intervenes to make sure justice is done but O'Gara, who is not looking at all comfortable, slices the penalty touch and Ireland gain inches rather than metres.

30 mins: Ireland punch through the New Zealand defensive line but Quinlan is harshly penalised for offside at a ruck despite the ball looking as if it was out.

28 mins: It is now New Zealand's turn to desperately defend after O'Connell charges down Carter's clearance kick. The All Blacks get back and somehow they punt the ball into touch.

26 mins: PENALTY Ireland 0-3 New Zealand
At last there are points on the board. Ireland concede another penalty, when Paul O'Connell comes in from the side, and Carter finds his range from close range to put his side ahead.

24 mins: It is all a bit scrappy at moment as both sides are struggling to find any pattern to their play. Finally New Zealand show a bit of composure and win a penalty when Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip fails to roll away from the tackle area. I still struggle to understand how a player can roll when he has five others on top of him but there you go. Anyway, the long and the short of it is that Dan Carter misses the penalty attempt. Interesting.

19 mins: A nice run from open-side David Wallace, who dances his way out of tackles, creates a bit of space for Ireland. However, the attack ends when Tommy Bowe cannot collect the offload.

16 mins: O'Leary produces a wonderful kick that bounces just inside the whitewash before going into touch. Considering that the 25-year-old's only previous appearance for Ireland was as a replacement in Argentina last year, that was a nerveless bit of play.

14 mins: New Zealand may have had a fine start but they have also made a few mistakes. Cowan is pinged for a shove on his opposite number when the ball was still in the scrum. Silly. Was he watching the England game earlier?

"They've weathered the storm of the first 10 minutes...could be significant."
mysteriousblablabla on 606

"The ABs look up for this today, Ireland already under loads of pressure."
eirebilly on 606

"What an atmosphere at Croke Park, haka was amazing."
Ohh Roman Pavlyuchenko...He Made The Scousers Cry on 606

9 mins: New Zealand give the ball some width and they are looking dangerous again. Ireland scramble to get back and inside centre Luke Fitzgerald brings down the charging Muliaina with a fine tackle. The All Blacks go off their feet at the ruck and Ireland win the penalty.

7 mins: New Zealand full-back Mils Muliaina jinks his way through the Ireland defence and the danger signs are there for Ireland. But the visitors concede a penalty and the Irish can clear their lines. This game has started at some pace.

5 mins: Let off for Ireland. Irish blind-side flanker Alan Quinlan, who apparently has had 'Bertie' as one of his nicknames (after former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, for his ability to bounce back every time his career looked buried) is penalised at the breakdown but Carter misses the kick at goal.

1 min: New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter starts the game as the Croke Park crowd end an impassioned version of "Fields of Athenry". There is immediate drama as Ronan O'Gara's clearance kick is charged down by All Black scrum-half Jimmy Cowan. Ireland do manage to clear up in their own in-goal area but it is a sloppy start from the home side.

1718: The silence is immaculately observed but the noise level increases again for the haka. This seems to be a new version but no matter, these boys really mean it.

1716: The atmosphere is pretty electric as the anthems are belted out. There is now a minute's silence in memory of Garryowen player Shane Geoghegan.

"Tomas O'Leary is a really good running number nine, he is very strong - especially on his own ball. The new ELVs seem to suit him."
BBC Sport commentator Keith Wood on the surprise selection of scrum-half O'Leary

1709: The All Blacks take to the field and immediately form a huddle. Ireland seem to be keeping them waiting a little. Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll, who leads his side for the 50th time, has his poker face on too as he walks out onto the Croke Park pitch. It really is some stage and there is a packed house ready to greet the Irish players. Anthem time.

1705: Right then, over to Croke Park for the clash between Ireland and New Zealand. Really looking forward to this one. Both coaches are interviewed beforehand and Declan Kidney and Graham Henry are giving little away.

"Ireland can play, they showed that on the summer tour. It is a big occasion against a very good Ireland side. It is an impressive venue with a lot of history and there will be a lot of emotion."
New Zealand coach Graham Henry

1703: And you're back in the room.....

1644: Just to say that I am going to take a quick break, I need my rest you know! But keep the chat coming in and I'll be back for the Ireland v New Zealand contest. Don't you go anywhere.

1640: The stats tell their own story. England had 61% of the possession, compared to Australia's 39%, but the 10 penalties conceded cost the home side dearly.

"The score is the score - Australia have come here and won a Test match by 14 points. We had the opportunities but we did not control the ball. They did not have to do a lot to score. In Test match rugby, you may only get two or three chances to score inside their 22 and you have to take them - that's what Australia did with their try. We let them off far too often."
England manager Martin Johnson

"We can't see many positives at the moment because we felt we did enough to win the game. People will not sit up and take notice unless we start winning these games."
Scotland head coach Frank Hadden

1626: Well, well. What about that then? The Australian players congregate on the makeshift stage to receive the Cook Cup. The win was totally deserved and they will feel they proved the critics wrong. Welcome to the harsh realities of international rugby Johnno.

"England deserved to loose today, giving away 10 easy penalties. What good does Johnno think it is to bring on Toby flood and Harry Ellis with only 10 minutes to go, they should have been brought on earlier. I'm a fan of Cipriani, but he had about two minutes of excellence and that was it, time for changes to be made."
littlehinch18 on 606

"Scotland were the best team for 55 minutes of that game, but South Africa were too clinical. Brave effort from the Scots. Hopefully they can build on this performance over the Autumn and give it a good shot in the Six Nations next year."
jervisd on 606

FULL-TIME: England 14-28 Australia
The boos ring out at HQ as the final whistle blows. A bit harsh I think, Martin Johnson can hardly turn things around in just two games. Australia were by far the better side but they were nowhere near their best. The Wallabies scrum has been derided but it was a completely different story today and the fact that hooker Stephen Moore won the man-of-the-match award says its own story.

"Gutted about Scotland."
clarkfg on 606

79 minutes: To be fair to England, they are still giving it a go but in truth, it is fair too late.

FULL-TIME: Scotland 10-14 South Africa
What a brave, brave display from the Scots but they just could not get the vital points they needed at the end. If only they had landed all their kicks.

"Still a few to go but result or not, England have been rubbish. Am an Englishman and a massive rugby fan but we just don't have it at the moment. Cipriani sums it up, two seconds of magic in amongst 79 mins and 58 seconds of mediocrity. Sorry Johnno but a lot to do yet."
odhazaffa on 606

"Same old story with England, constantly giving away penalties. Cipriani has still yet to prove he's a good player in my eyes, I really don't know what all the hype is about."
PulpGrape on 606

77 mins: Drama in Edinburgh as Scotland camp on the South Africa line. They have a great chance to take the lead but the Boks hold on and force a 5m scrum. From the set piece the Scots turn the ball over, South Africa clear and it looks all over now.

71 mins: Riki Flutey, who has had a very quiet game, makes a half break but England cannot capitalise on it. Cipriani is flattened by Wycliff Palu in a tackle that is bordering on the late and he gingerly walks off the field. Leicester's Toby Flood takes his place.

72 mins: Brilliant break from Phil Godman, who opts to run the ball from under his own posts as Ali Hogg makes a break on the right. Scotland slow the ball down with 10m of the tryline and are handed a penalty in front of the sticks, but somehow Phil Godman misses a straightforward kick at the posts. That's 12 points Scotland have spurned with the boot. How costly will that miss be?

69 mins: TRY England 14-28 Australia
England may not be on the canvas but they are certainly on the ropes. Australia pile forward after an England line-out misfires and Giteau, Cross and Mortlock show lovely hands to give Adam Ashley-Cooper the simple try. Great finish. Giteau adds the extras.

66 mins: A bruised a dazed Sheridan is forced to leave the field and he is replaced by Vickery. Sums up his day really.

65 mins: PENALTY England 14-21 Australia
If the games against Australia in 2007 and 2005 were all about Andrew Sheridan, then this one is all about Al Baxter. He has proved his critics wrong with a superb display in the tight. He wins another penalty for his side at a scrum and Mortlock thumps a long-range kick from around 50m to extend the lead to seven.

Lots of England subs, Michael Lipman on for Tom Rees, Simon Shaw for Tom Palmer and Harry Ellis for Danny Care.

66 mins: PENALTY: Scotland 10-14 South Africa
Ruan Pienaar belts over his third penalty of the afternoon as Scotland are caught short in the ruck, but the Scots are not out of this yet, not by a long shot.

"I echo thanks to live text from Cairo, the only city I've yet to visit with apparently no Irish bar screening the rugby. Come on England."
Scott Garret via text on 81111

"I can't believe I'm in Milan watching Italy and Argentina grind out a terrible game with no commentary because the commentators are on strike when at home Scotland are becoming world champions. Disaster. C'mon Scotland, bring it home! Lol."
Kenny via text on 81111

58 mins: Godman misses a penalty for Scotland while Phil Vickery and Nick Easter are taken off at Twickenham, to be replaced by Matt Stevens and James Haskell.

58 mins: PENALTY England 14-18 Australia
More sloppy play from England and Giteau lands yet another three points.

57 mins: TRY Scotland 10-11 South Africa
Well, it was inevitable - a lovely sweeping move through the backs sees substitute Jacques Fourie - on for the indifferent Bryan Habana - beating Hugo Southwell to the corner for a lovely score. But Ruan Pienaar misses a tough kick from the right touchline, so the deficit is only one point.

54 mins: PENALTY England 14-15 Australia
Another one for the Aussie front row. From the scrum formed after Cipriani's touchdown, England concede a penalty and Giteau slots over.

53 mins: England make a complete mess of the re-start and Danny Care's box kick is charged down by Australia lock Nathan Sharpe. Cipriani is there to tidy up but slips in his on in-goal area and needs treatment on that ankle. It's ok for the moment though as he rejoins the action.

55 mins: PENALTY: Scotland 6-10 South Africa
Nathan Hines is penalised for not rolling away in the tackle as he clings on to Bryan Habana, handing Ruan Pienaar a simple kick from 40m straight in front of the posts.

52 mins: PENALTY: England 14-12 Australia
The Aussies are under immense pressure and the penalty is eventually given away. Cipriani puts England in front for the first time.

48 mins: It's all England as Cipriani again ghosts through an Aussie midfield which this time contains two front rowers. That's poor defence. Adam Ashley-Cooper and Peter Hynes get back to haul him down and the Aussies hang on as England's ball carriers try and find a way through. The ball is played back to Cipriani in the pocket but even though he is just 15m out, somehow he slices it wide. Dreadful.

45 mins: England centre Riki Flutey drops off a rampaging Stirling Mortlock and the Aussies pile towards the line. However, the move breaks down with the help of a thumping tackle from Delon Armitage on Ryan Cross just two metres out.

45 mins: PENALTY - SCOTLAND 10-3 SOUTH AFRICA
Scotland are penalised for offside as South Africa pound their tryline. But they opt for points on the board as Ruan Pienaar scores their first points of the game with a simple kick in front of the posts.

"I'm also glad of live text. Did a colleague a favour and volunteered to swap weekend on duty. Then got offered a ticket to the game. Sickening!"
Anon via text on 81111

42 mins: South Africa's Jean de Villiers hands off Ali Hogg as he heads for the corner, but the centre is taken into touch by a fine try-saving tackle from Hugo Southwell and Scotland earn a line out right on their tryline.

42 mins: Same old story at Twickenham as England concede yet another penalty at the start of the second half. The Wallabies now have some nice territory.

41 mins: We are under way in Edinburgh. Dan Parks is back on for Phil Godman. A couple of minutes later, Cipriani kicks off for England.

"Roars of relief from the England supporters as that last penalty from Giteau spiralled wide. Martin Johnson's frown grew throughout the half as his side kept giving away daft penalties - the way he strode off down the tunnel suggests his forwards will be in for a ear-blasting during the interval."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Twickenham

"Wow, Scotland are beating the Boks. Unbelievable."
JonBassett on 606

"I don't know where I'd be without live text today. Family duty means I'm on a train feeling very nervous whilst running up a huge bill on my internet browsing!
Ali via text on 81111

HALF-TIME: England 11-12 Australia

40 mins: England wing Paul Sackey has a temporary meltdown and wanders around the wrong side of a ruck to concede a very, very silly penalty. I would love to hear what BBC commentator Brian Moore says about that. It does not matter though as Giteau misses his first kick of the game.

39 mins: PENALTY England 11-12 Australia
Stirling Mortlock is penalised for not rolling away at a ruck. Cipriani immediately takes off his hat and nails the kick. That's nerve for you.

HALF-TIME: Scotland 10-0 South Africa

37 mins: TRY Scotland 10-0 South Africa
A brilliant break from Mike Blair feeds Phil Godman, who is held up just inches short of the tryline, that 14-month wait for a try at Murrayfield is almost over. The ball is eventually recycled to Nathan Hines and the big second row bundles over for the sweetest try right by the posts. Top score - and thoroughly well deserved. It's upset O'Clock in Edinburgh. Phil Godman adds the extras.

36 mins: Phil Godman, head strapped with a natty bandage, goes just wide with a drop-goal attempt. The South Africans are all over the place, they have conceded eight penalties in the first half.

35 mins: TRY England 8-12 Australia
The pressure pays off for England as from the five-metre scrum, Harlequins number eight Nick Easter burrows his way over from about a foot. Goodness knows how the ref gave that but the Twickenham crowd do not care. Cipriani makes a complete horlicks of the conversion. He needs to find his radar.

34 mins: JP Pietersen is clattered a metre short of the tryline, but as South Africa looks to recycle the ball, Schalk Burger comes flying in off his feet and referee Dave Pearson points his arms towards Scotland's posts, handing the hosts the opportunity to clear their lines. And back-chatting from the South African number six sees Scotland advance a further 10m.

34 mins: Tense times at Twickers as a break from England scrum-half Danny Care puts the home side close to the Aussie line. Andrew Sheridan picks up and crashes over but the video referee rules that he was held up. England's best moment so far.

32 mins: PENALTY England 3-12 Australia
Australia are camped in the England 22 after an aggressive kick chase gives them possession. England's defence are strong, Tom Rees putting in a big hit on Giteau, but eventually they are penalised for offside. Boy is this penalty count costing England dear. Giteau kicks his fourth penalty.

30 mins: Brilliant play from Scotland wing Thom Evans, who turns inside his own 22m line to storm outside of Bryan Habana - yep, Bryan Habana - inside into South Africa territory.

28 mins: PENALTY England 3-9 Australia
Australia attack and Vickery is pinged for hands in the ruck. Another sloppy penalty conceded and Giteau kicks another three points.

27 mins: PENALTY Scotland 3-0 South Africa
At last Scotland finally get on the scoreboard with their third penalty attempt as Phil Godman adds three points after Brian Mujati is penalised for coming in at the side of a ruck.

"Come on Scotland! Ye can beat this lot. Believe!"
Gibson on 606

22 mins: DROP-GOAL England 3-6 Australia
Australia fail to find distance as they clear from the resulting line-out. London Irish full-back Delon Armitage collects and smacks the ball through the posts. What an audacious three points.

21 mins: A wonderful show and go from Cipriani rips apart the Aussie defence. That's the first moment of magic from the Wasps fly-half. The ball finds its way out to hooker Lee Mears on the wing who is bundled into touch near the corner flag.

19 mins: Scotland are penalised for pushing in the line out inside their own 22, but Ruan Pienaar is also finding the wind a right pain in the backside as he pushes his kick wide. It's not pretty at Murrayfield right now, but Scotland are more than holding their own against the world champions.

"How can you have this much quality possession and not be moving forward. This is a very static display by England without any plan or cohesion to their play."
Aussie-Rugger on 606

"This could be a long day for the Scots."
eirebilly on 606

16 mins: Sackey puts in a cheeky chip over the top as he tries to attack from deep. He is blocked by a pretty cynical Mortlock and play is brought back for the offence after intervention from the touch judge. "I had my back turned," implores the Aussie but referee Jonker ignores him.

15 mins: Parks misses another penalty attempt for Scotland. They can't spurn too many chances like this if they are to beat the Boks.

15 mins: "It's a shocker," says a colleague sitting near me as Cipriani spoons his kick wide of the posts. Hmm.

13 mins: England are enjoying plenty of possession but in truth the ball is very, very slow and they going nowhere. However, George Smith concedes a penalty at the breakdown and Danny Cipriani has a kick at goal.

12 mins: Schalk Burger is penalised for not using his arms in the tackle, handing Dan Parks - on as a blood replacement for Chris Paterson - kicks for three points, but scuffs his kick wide in the face of a feisty north westerly breeze.

10 mins: Chance for Australia as Giteau finds an ocean of space near the halfway line. Stirling Mortlock is the only one in support but he spills Giteau's pass and the attack ends.

"Maybe it's because I am half drunk already but I think Ireland will sneak a win here and Scotland and England will lose."
eirebilly on 606

6 mins: PENALTY England 0-6 Australia
More errors from England, this time it is skipper Borthwick showing a lack of discipline. He goes straight through a line-out and Giteau kicks another three points.

5 mins: Early substitution for South Africa as prop Brian Mujati comes on for hooker Bismarck du Plessis, who picks up an injury during a ruck. Mujati's introduction sees John Smit shift over to the number two shirt.

3 mins: PENALTY England 0-3 Australia
First blood to the Aussies. Tom Rees is penalised for going into a ruck off his feet and Giteau has the simple task of slotting over the kick.

2 mins: A poor clearance kick from Mike Blair is charged down by Bakkies Botha as Scotland are pinned right inside their own 22m line. But the world champs are penalised for playing the ball off their feet, handing the Scots the opportunity to clear their lines.

1 min: The noise level increases at Twickers as Matt Giteau starts the match and almost immediately there is a scrum. Here we go. Australia collapse the scrum twice but South African referee Marius Jonker re-sets it. On the third, Jonker gives a free-kick to the Aussies.

1431: Anthems at Twickenham while South Africa start the match in Edinburgh.

1428: "Tight England, tight!" shouts England skipper Steve Borthwick to his players in the tunnel before they take to the field. The anthems are under way in Edinburgh.

1427: The bagpipes sound at Murrayfield as a thoroughly pumped Mike Blair leads his players out past four pyrotechnic boxes of various tricks, which range from a lame fountain-type firework spray to a rather scary-looking naked flame, as if someone has just sprayed an aerosol on a gas hob.

1425: Quick reminder of the team news before the players come out at Twickenham. There are two changes for England, prop and former skipper Phil Vickery coming in for Matt Stevens while lock Tom Palmer replaces Nick Kennedy. There are eight changes for the Aussies, fly-half Matt Giteau, lock Nathan Sharpe and props Benn Robinson and Al Baxter among those returning.

"Does anyone mind if I just keep my eyes closed and think of the 21-6 Scotland victory of 2002? I don't think we have a prayer against South Africa today - but there is always hope."
ianmcco on 606

"Lordy. We've got four women in the middle of the Twickenham pitch, wearing ball-dresses and playing an orchestral version of 'Live And Let Die' on violin and cello. Who said rugby was going soft?"
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Twickenham

1417: Interesting chat from Australia scrum coach Michael Foley this week. He said the defeat by England in 2005 was a "watershed moment" for scrum coaching in the country. Baxter also revealed that in times gone by scrum coaching was done by the physio. No wonder they struggled in that area eh?

Another little aside is that according to Wasps and Wales coach Shaun Edwards, England's World Cup-winning prop Trevor Woodman is being sounded out for a possible role with the Wallabies. The former Gloucester forward has apparently been working at Sydney University for the last couple of years.

"I think this is a very decent Irish XV which will give the All Blacks a good match, but the Kiwis will win. Australia should beat England and South Africa will be far too strong for Scotland. These matches take on extra significance because of next summer's Lions tour to South Africa and it's a big chance for players to stake an early claim for a place in the squad."
dazzlingdublinblue on 606

"I got home and watched a recording of X-Factor - I couldn't believe Laura had been voted out."
Scotland captain Mike Blair when asked what he did after last week's 32-6 defeat by New Zealand last Saturday.

"The Twickenham pitch is looking in good shape. There has been no rain today and there will be no excuses from England's backs coach Brian Smith, who is out warming up his charges. The stirring sounds of Jerusalem are blaring out from the speaker system and the unfeasibly mild weather seems to be having an encouraging effect on the sales of liquid refreshment for the two sets of fans."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Twickenham

1400: Very important subplot to the game at Murrayfield. Scotland need to beat the Springboks if they are to retain second-seed status at the 2011 World Cup. Lose, and Frank Hadden's men face a nightmare group. By the way, both Scotland and South Africa make one change from last weekend, wing Rory Lamont replacing brother Sean for the home side while the Boks name Ricky Januarie for scrum-half Fourie du Preez.

"The South Africans are not only big, but quick and ask serious questions of the opposition's defence."
BBC Sport's Jeremy Guscott at Murrayfield

1343: Aussie prop Al Baxter is one player a lot of people will be keeping a close eye on today. The Canberra-born front rower comes up against his nemesis, Andrew 'Big Ted' Sheridan, and will be hoping that he has an easier ride than he had at Twickenham in 2005. Sheridan was then making his first start and was so dominant at scrum time that Baxter was sin-binned for dragging the set piece down. In last year's World Cup quarter-final, the Sale man continued his dominance over the Aussie scrum by demolishing the Wallabies front row as England won 12-10.

Baxter, who skipper Stirling Mortlock says is the brainbox of the squad, is enjoying his time in the limelight, saying: "This is the most press I have ever got in my life. I am usually in the background."

"Mark, I won't be with you on your text commentary 'cos I'll be trying to keep the Eng-Aus result unknown until the highlights programme tonight. Managed to do so last week, just. If you could have a quiet word with your TV colleagues to give a bit of warning if they going to give the score during the Scotttish and Irish games, it'll be much appreciated. Good luck to Scotland, Ireland, Italy, PI's and England."
PaddyWho on 606

No worries PaddyWho, I'll let you off this once. Unfortunately my influence is not that great with those in TV so good luck with that mute button. To help you out, we'll keep the noise down here so you don't hear me.

1334: Right let's have a little look at what's coming up today - just in case you have been living under a rock for the last seven days.

At 1430 GMT, England play Australia at Twickenham in Martin Johnson's first major test as manager. Plenty of chat beforehand about the Aussie scrum and I personally can't wait to see the sides pack down for the time this afternoon. Will there be a repeat of 2005 and the World Cup quarter-final last year when England dismantled the Aussie scrum?

At the same time in Edinburgh, Scotland look to bounce back from their rather predictable defeat by the All Blacks last weekend when they take on world champions South Africa at Murrayfield. The omens do not look good. The Scots have not scored a home try for 14 months and have not beaten the Boks since 2002. Could today see a historic victory?

And if that wasn't enough, at 1715 GMT Ireland look to claim their first ever victory over New Zealand in 22 Tests when the sides meet at Croke Park. Tomas O'Leary is the surprise choice at scrum-half while New Zealand bring back their big guns including Dan Carter, Richie McCaw, Conrad Smith and Sitiveni Sivivatu.

I'm going to take you through this afternoon's action but I can't do it all on my own. I need your thoughts on the action coming up, predictions, locations of where you are watching the matches etc. Get involved via text on 81111 or here on 606, you know you want to.

1330: Afternoon all. Let's not muck about here - this is a major afternoon. England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are all in action. On the same day. So forget the Christmas shopping and England's defeat in the Rugby League World Cup semi-final, get involved in some top level international sport of the 15-a-side variety.

see also
England 14-28 Australia
15 Nov 08 |  English
Scotland 10-14 South Africa
15 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Ireland v New Zealand (Sat)
14 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union


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