Usually rugby union’s autumn internationals serve merely as an entertaining distraction – but with the World Cup on these shores now less than a year away this time it should be different.
For both northern and southern hemisphere sides, this series of matches matters.
Particularly for England and Wales it is a chance to put down a marker as they both face New Zealand, South Africa and Australia over the next month.
For those visiting these shores it is an opportunity to get the majority of their World Cup squads acclimatised to the stadia and conditions.
However, the man who is set to learn most is arguably England head coach Stuart Lancaster.
While Lancaster is not the type to cry over spilt milk, he could be forgiven to pointing to the players he is denied the chance of selecting.
Huddersfield product Luther Burrell, counted out after breaking his hand playing for club side Northampton, is just one of 12 big names who are not fit for the fray – which starts against All Blacks on Saturday.
Perhaps the only bonus for the England camp is that Lancaster and his coaching staff will learn just how much strength in depth he has in his squad, and as a result putting on good displays against the world champions, Samoa and Springboks and the Wallabies could be a very welcome boost – even if the results aren’t victories.