The autumn international season in the northern hemisphere has perfectly set up next year’s Rugby World Cup in France, but the clashes between north and south also sent out the message that the sport may be in trouble.

Let’s start with the first bit. My money says it is SA and New Zealand who are most on the rise. The Springboks lost narrowly to Ireland and were then unlucky against France in Marseille. By the time they got to the final game against England at Twickenham, it was clear they are embracing evolution in their game, and that will make them red hot challengers in France...

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