LONDON – The global coronavirus pandemic caused havoc for international rugby this year, forcing the cancellation of the usual programme of autumn Tests in the northern hemisphere. England will host world champions South Africa and Australia at Twickenham in November 2021, the Rugby Football Union announced on Tuesday.
Instead, the Six Nations teams, plus Georgia and Fiji, played the hastily arranged Autumn Nations Cup, which finished on Sunday with England as champions.
Eddie Jones’ squad, who weeks earlier won the interrupted Six Nations, will begin their autumn campaign next year on November 6 against an emerging nation, with the opponent yet to be confirmed.
The following weekend, Australia head to London for a repeat of last year’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final, which England won 40-16.
It will be the eighth time England have faced Australia under Jones and the fourth time on home soil.
In the final match of the series, England will play South Africa on 20 November in the first meeting between the sides since the 2019 World Cup final, which the Springboks won 32-12.
“South Africa are world champions and we’ll be looking to benchmark ourselves against them,” said Jones. “Australia is rapidly improving, have a lot of new talent coming through.”
He added: “We’ve not had the chance to play southern hemisphere teams this year, so it will be a good chance to see where we are up to and hopefully some great rugby for our supporters to enjoy.”
South Africa rugby director Rassie Erasmus said the history and rivalry between the sides would make for a “great contest”.
“We are looking forward to playing the English at their Twickenham fortress where it will require a special performance to match them,” he added.
The Springboks play Scotland in Edinburgh the previous week and have yet to announce an opponent for the opening match of their European tour.