Only two matches stand in the way of the All Blacks and a perfect record in 2013 but they’ll face their biggest obstacle this weekend in a hungry England team.

England were the last team to beat New Zealand in this same fixture last year but most All Black fans will tell you that came down a spate of food poisoning in the New Zealand camp. England fans will tell you that the win was simply evidence of an ever improving England. They have a lot of evidence to back that up as England have been very impressive so far and are knocking on the door of an improved ranking. Topping the match off, Dan Carter will get his 100th cap.

Wales Looking For Elusive Win

It’s crazy to think about but Wales, who have won back to back Six Nations titles, haven’t won a home Autumn International since 2009. Last year they suffered surprise losses to Argentina and Samoa, as well as expected losses to New Zealand and Australia. There is no question that Wales have the talent to beat anyone, just look at the make-up of the British & Irish Lions, but they somehow seem to lack consistency.

Will A Tier II Nation Surprise?

Last Autumn Tier II nations, in particular the Pacific Island nations, set the rugby world alight with upset performances over Tier I nations. So far they haven’t been able to replicate that same success. Fiji and Tonga will have their shots this week as they play Italy and France respectively.

Eagles Play Well, Canada Fights

The Eagles played extremely well against the Maori All Blacks last weekend in Philadelphia in front of a capacity crowd.  The energy for the match was extremely high and the U.S. played better than they have in years. Unfortunately they weren’t able to come away with a win. Meanwhile, Canada was involved in a 30-man brawl against Georgia that saw captain Tyler Ardron given a red card. The U.S. will play Georgia this weekend while Canada plays Romania.

ACRC Playoffs Start, Oklahoma Joins Varsity Cup

The college rugby season in the U.S. is winding down for the winter but before it comes to a complete close the American Collegiate Rugby Championship will pit several of the top teams on the East Coast against each other. Penn State and Clemson tops the list or notable games. The competition has had one blip on its record so far as Indiana pulled out of their match. Also in college rugby, Oklahoma agreed to join the Varsity Cup, bringing the number of teams in the competition up to 12.

Curtis Reed is the founder and editor of This Is American Rugby. He can be found on Twitter @ThisIsAmerRugby, on Facebook, and at www.thisisamericanrugby.com.

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