England capped off their return to rugby with a Six Nations victory following a 29-point victory in Rome, although they had to wait to be crowned champions, with France hosting Ireland in the final game of the competition.
Les Bleus went on to win that 35-27 at Stade de France, putting them level on points with Eddie Jones’ men in the table, but still behind on points difference.
This will be the third time that Georgia and England have faced one another in a competitive match, with the Red Roses winning the previous two by 78 and 31 point margins respectively at 2003 and 2011 Rugby World Cups.
We somewhat doubt we’ll see another near 80-point trouncing considering how much the visitors have improved since back in 2003, rising from 19th in the World Rugby rankings to a very respectable 12th.
The Georgians have dominated the Rugby Europe Championship with a clean sweep of victories against Romania, Spain, Belgium and Portugal, although they’ll know this competition is going to be a huge step up from that.
Indeed, against Tier One nations (excluding Italy and Japan) they’ve lost all 21 encounters this century, although only four times from their 18 such outings since 2007 did they lose by more than 39 points.
Georgia +40 Point Handicap
England have won 25 of their last 28 home matches dating back to October 2015, as their only two defeats came in 2018 against New Zealand and a prime Ireland outfit under Joe Schmidt.
In fact, if we exclude the elite sides Argentina, Australia, France, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand, then they’ve won all nine matches by a minimum of 20 points on home turf since the start of 2015, although they did only cover the 39-point handicap in three of those.
The England coach has opted to give the impressive Jack Willis a Test debut, while Ollie Lawrence is given his first start.
Indeed, it is a strong side, but considering they only put 29 points on an Italian outfit currently ranked at 14th in the world a fortnight ago when trying to maximise their points difference, we’d expect them to have a lot more trouble against an aggressive Georgian side.