England explore possible New Zealand clash this autumn with Eddie Jones' backing

Mar 19, 2017, 00:27
England explore possible New Zealand clash this autumn with Eddie Jones' backing

The match is not a formal part of the £225m agreement with the RFU.

The Lions is our major focus for this year and extra games at the end of the year can be tough for us, it's always been that way.

Ireland played a high tempo, physical game to disrupt New Zealand and run out 40-29 winners at Soldier Field in Chicago last November in a victory that sent shock waves around the rugby world.

The All Blacks have been approached at a preliminary stage over the possibility of facing the RBS 6 Nations champions on November 4, the date allocated for their fixture against the Barbarians.

Now that England has equalled the test record there are talks of arranging a match as England aren't scheduled to play against New Zealand until November 2018.

A number of options were on the table for the November 4 Test, with Frances, Wales and Scotland already lined up for the subsequent three weeks.

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The two nations have not met since 2014, when England toured the Land of the Long White Cloud in a three-Test summer series along with an autumn worldwide return Test at Twickenham, and England haven't beaten the All Blacks since their famous 38-21 home victory in December 2012. "We will need to understand the details of the proposal before responding", read a statement issued by Premiership Rugby.

Yet any Test, falling outside of World Rugby's worldwide window, will require the RFU to negotiate the release of their players from the UK Aviva Premiership.

If England topple Ireland in Dublin on St Patrick's Day, they will have become the sixth team to secure back-to-back Grand Slams and will eclipse the All Blacks' record of 18 consecutive Test victories.

"If the All Blacks want to turn up to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and want to play us after Ireland, then we'll consider it", Jones quipped. The drills include tackling, scrummaging, and kicking, and players are scored on their performance through an interactive points-based system to see how they stack up to the players.

"We really enjoyed working in partnership with O2 to develop this unique virtual reality experience", England defence coach Paul Gustard said.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen admitted earlier in the week that "people are desperate for England and the All Blacks to play". I think the thing that made it hard was perhaps we didn't play as well as we could as a team.