England vs New Zealand Rugby : England take on New Zealand for the first time in four years as they look to maintain their winning start to this year’s autumn internationals, with the reigning world champions aiming for a fifth consecutive victory over their rivals.
Kick-off is not until 3:00pm GMT, but we’ll be bringing you all the build-up from 1:30pm as we look ahead to what is one of the biggest games on the rugby calendar this year, having been four years in the maing.
Eddie Jones has gambled by starting Chris Ashton on the wing in place of Jack Nowell, handing him his first England start since June 2014 which also came against the All Blacks. Ben Moon and Sam Underhill also come into the starting line-up while Courtney Lawes returns from injury among the replacements, but there is still no Manu Tuilagi available as he continues to struggle with a groin strain.
England coach Eddie Jones has often insisted that trying to play the All Blacks at their own running from deep, passing game is a recipe for defeat, with the Australian championing the traditional Red Rose strengths of a powerful forward pack and solid set piece.
“Southern hemisphere rugby — there’s a lot of talk about Super Rugby, it’s very free flowing with a lot of tries scored, but in this part of the world, maybe because the environment is different, the weather is different, there is a necessity to play a tighter game,” Hansen said.
It was a trait England, then coached by Stuart Lancaster, showed in the last of just their seven wins over the All Blacks six years ago when, leading 12-0 at the break courtesy of four Owen Farrell penalties, they ran in three second half tries through Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi in a 38-21 triumph.
Dashing wing Ashton is now set to make his first Test start in four years but the injury prone Tuilagi’s long wait for an England recall has been delayed again by a groin problem.