LONDON: England will host world champions South Africa at Twickenham during their 2021 Autumn International series, a rematch of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama which the Springboks won to secure their third title.
Eddie Jones's side will play Australia the week before and are lining up a third match against an emerging nation to kick off the series, England Rugby said on Tuesday.
The clash with the Springboks on Nov. 20 will be eagerly anticipated after South Africa triumphed 32-12 in the global showpiece final last year, and will come months after the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa that is likely to feature a large number of England players.
Jones believes the tests will provide a good barometer for his team two years out from the next World Cup in France.
"These will be some good games of rugby and tough tests for us as we work to improve ourselves as a team," Jones told the England Rugby website.
"South Africa are world champions and we’ll be looking to benchmark ourselves against them.
"Australia are rapidly improving, have a lot of new talent coming through and good coaches like Dave Rennie and Scott Wisemantel, who we know well."
South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus is itching to see how England will line up against the Boks, who have not played a test since their World Cup triumph over a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Any match involving England and the Springboks is always special," Erasmus said in a statement from SA Rugby.
"England are an incredibly proud rugby nation and in Eddie Jones they have an astute coach who will no doubt be working on a plan to outsmart the Springboks for our rematch at Twickenham. It will require a special performance to match them."
Tier 1 nations have committed to playing more tests against Tier 2 opponents and England's Autumn series will start with a game against an emerging nation on Nov. 6.
(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)