RFU interim chief executive Nigel Melville has described November as a fantastic month for England’s men’s and women’s teams following their performances in the Quilter Internationals.
The Red Roses were unbeaten in the month, while England men suffered one loss – a one-point defeat to New Zealand.
Melville also paid tribute to the Rugby Football Union’s professional game match officials programme who were well represented during the autumn international period.
“November has been fantastic,” said Melville.
“The Quilter Internationals saw six wins from seven games. The women had three great wins, two on the road and one here at Twickenham and I’m really impressed with how they are progressing while the men saw the three victories and a narrow loss.”
November saw debuts for several players and Melville believes their quality highlights the depth of England’s squad.
“Going into the Quilter Internationals there was a lot of talk about who was missing so it was fantastic to come out of it and talk about other players such as Ben Moon, Mark Wilson and Sam Underhill. Ted Hill, Joe Cokanasiga and Zach Mercer – players who have come through our pathway in the past three years also came to Twickenham and showed we have a lot more depth than many people thought, as well as a strong squad going forward which will cause Eddie a lot of challenges with selection."
Melville also believes the squad are well placed heading into a year which concludes with the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
“The Quilter Internationals were a credit to Eddie and his management team as well as the players who came out with some excellent results and performances.
“Going into a World Cup year we couldn’t be in a better place and are looking forward to challenge ahead.”
Of the referees who officiated during the autumn, Melville added: “We have a great referees programme here for our match officials and during the autumn internationals they did a great job. We have a fantastic bunch of young referees making their way onto the international circuit.”