The June International test rugby window is here with that increased intensity of test match rugby being offered with wall to wall rugby for fans to digest over the next three weeks.  It isn’t just the top nations playing, for example Eastern Province Kings are playing Wales, while there are clashes between non World Cup rugby nations too.


One issue that affects tipping is based around how many top players teams have available.  Teams like Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Argentina often struggle to get their top players available for these matches or if they do, they often have limited preparation times.  Another factor is the timing, with Northern Hemisphere teams playing at the end of their season, while the Southern Hemisphere teams are at the start of their international season.  For this reason, I have been relatively conservative with my margins and picks in Round 1.

For example, everyone knows that England will be understrength when they face the All Blacks, but the All Blacks usually start off the season slowly in the first test and England will be fired up, knowing they have nothing to lose.  The All Blacks only beat a similarly understrength France last year by 10 points.

Most of the winning teams are easy to pick in the June Internationals Round 1, but it is hard to know how much New Zealand, South Africa and Wales will win by.  Australia have a potentially tougher game against France which could be too close for comfort.  The World XV will struggle with combinations against South Africa so I am picking them to lose relatively heavily, while Eastern Province Kings and England will be outplayed, but will put up a brave fight initially before going down.

Fiji, Argentina and USA host Six Nations teams in Round 1 and these three matches are the toughest to pick.  Argentina are a good team when in full flight, but they are hosting the Six Nations champions Ireland in what should be a great match.  Scotland and Italy finished towards the bottom of the Six Nations, but their matches with USA and Fiji should both be close.  Fiji will get some amazing Super Rugby backs back, but Italy should dominate the forward exchanges.  USA are improving, but Scotland should be too strong.

There are two matches in the Pacific Nations Cup with Samoa hosting Tonga and Canada hosting Japan.  It is difficult to get an indication on performance here, apart from knowing the Japan thrashed a second string Samoan team last week.  Assuming that these teams are all at full strength this week then expect Samoa to bounce back with a home victory over Tonga and Canada host Japan in what will be a close match, but expect the Japanese to be slightly better prepared.

Who are you picking to win June Internationals and Pacific Nations Cup?

My picks for The June Internationals Round 1:

Game Date and time Your pick
[1] New Zealand v England 7 Jun 19:35 (local)
7 Jun 19:35 (your time*)
New Zealand
[2] Australia v France 7 Jun 20:00 (local)
7 Jun 22:00 (your time*)
[3] South Africa v World XV 7 Jun 17:00 (local)
8 Jun 03:00 (your time*)
South Africa
[4] USA v Scotland 7 Jun 19:30 (local)
8 Jun 12:30 (your time*)
[5] Argentina v Ireland 7 Jun 15:40 (local)
8 Jun 06:40 (your time*)
[8] Eastern Province Kings v Wales 10 Jun 19:00 (local)
11 Jun 05:00 (your time*)
[6] Fiji v Italy 7 Jun 19:00 (local)
7 Jun 19:00 (your time*)


My picks for The Pacific Nations Cup 2014

Game Date and time Your pick
[1] Samoa v Tonga 7 Jun 14:00 (local)
8 Jun 13:00 (your time*)
[2] Canada v Japan 7 Jun 18:00 (local)
8 Jun 13:00 (your time*)


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