With the autumn internationals upon us, rugby fans the world over are excited. The first internationals of the season for Ireland, Wales and England bring a sense of anticipation and expectation, with each coach naming an experimental side.
Rugby fixtures are notoriously difficult to predict, and while every fan offers an opinion you never know how your side will fare until the game kicks off.
Nevertheless, QBE Business Insurance have given it a go. The insurance company are global leaders in calculating insurance, however instead of predicting the impact upon businesses across varying potential catastrophes they have decided to predict the scores of the 22 autumn internationals.
The actuaries at QBE have used a complex mathematical formula to simulate every match this November 10,000 times, resulting in a precise scoreline being generated for each.
The variables range from the obvious to the obscure, including the number of caps won by individual players, weather conditions and world ranking position.
Here are their predictions for Round 1:
Wales 20-24 Australia
England 38-21 Argentina
Ireland 20-20 South Africa
France 16-35 New Zealand
Scotland 31-22 Samoa
As always, scepticism surrounds such predictions. However, the QBE predictions were successful in 38 of the 47 matches played at the 2015 World Cup. They were also scarily accurate during the 2017 Six Nations, picking out just two games the computer forecast that the titanic Wales-England game at the Principality Stadium in February would be 23-19, with the final score being 21-16.
Once more the boffins at QBE were nearly spot on in Paris with France predicted to beat Wales 22-20. After 100 minutes of play the score was 20-18 to France. Another uncannily close estimate.
Ireland are heavily fancied against the Springboks at home. With an experienced side they will be dissatisfied with anything other than a win in front of the Aviva faithful.
A 13th loss in a row to the Wallabies looks likely for Wales, with a weak Welsh side missing key faces and Australia fresh from a win against the All Blacks. They will be hot favourites.
QBE spring no surprises with England and New Zealand predicted to win comfortably, even with Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje rested at Twickenham.
A host of big names return for the All Blacks in their match in Paris and another big score is expected.
Finally, a depleted Scotland side are forecast to beat a Samoa team surrounded by drama. A victory would be an enormous achievement for a young Scottish team.
Hat tip: WalesOnline