- England prepare to face New Zealand in third QBE International
- Get all the stats, information and quotes that matter ahead of the game
England are on a roll after winning their first two QBE Internationals but their biggest test lies in wait this weekend when they face world champions New Zealand at Twickenham.
Stuart Lancaster’s side have recorded a 20-17 victory over Australia and a 31-12 triumph over Argentina this autumn and will be desperate to replicate last year’s famous win over New Zealand and finish this series with a 100 per cent record.
Photo: Getty Images
International assignments, though, do not come tougher. The All Blacks, who beat France last weekend, have lost just once in their last 33 internationals and won their last 12 matches since defeat to England 12 months ago, for which they will be driven to gain revenge.
Only one England team have ever recorded back-to-back wins over the All Blacks, and they went on to win the World Cup in 2003. However, England’s recent form and burgeoning belief should ensure a classic encounter at Twickenham.
When? Saturday, November 16
Where? Twickenham Stadium
How to keep up with the action
- Live on Sky Sports 1 HD and 3D from 1.30pm
- Regular updates on BBC Five Live
- Live text commentary on the free RFU iPhone app (search iTunes for Official RFU)
- Live score updates from @Official_RFU on Twitter
- Match report, post-match interviews and highlights on RFU.com
15. Mike Brown, 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Joel Tomkins, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Ben Foden, 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Lee Dickson; 1. Joe Marler, 2. Dylan Hartley, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Courtney Lawes, 6. Tom Wood, 7. Chris Robshaw (captain), 8. Billy Vunipola,
Replacements: 16. Tom Youngs, 17. Matt Mullan, 18. David Wilson, 19. Geoff Parling, 20. Ben Morgan, 21. Danny Care, 22. Toby Flood, 23. Alex Goode.
New Zealand: 15. Israel Dagg, 14. Charles Piutau, 13. Ben Smith, 12. Ma’a Nonu, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Dan Carter, 9. Aaron Smith; 1. Tony Woodcock 2. Keven Mealamu, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Liam Messam, 7. Richie McCaw (captain), 8. Kieran Read
Replacements: 16. Dane Coles, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Charlie Faumuina, 19. Luke Romano, 20. Steven Luatua, 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22. Aaron Cruden, 23. Ryan Crotty
- December 2012 – England 38-21 New Zealand, Twickenham
- November 2010 – England 16-26 New Zealand, Twickenham
- November 2009 - England 6-19 New Zealand, Twickenham
- November 2008 – England 6-32 New Zealand, Twickenham
- July 2008 – New Zealand 44-12 England, Christchurch
Battle of the breakdown: The respective back rows, and the opposing captains and openside flankers Chris Robshaw and Richie McCaw in particular, will have crucial roles to play in what promises to be a fierce scrap for supremacy at the breakdown. The All Blacks, led by McCaw, have set the standard in recent years in terms of ferocity, efficiency and guile when it comes to securing turnovers, slowing opposition ball and gaining quick ball for their backs.
Photo: Getty Images
The spotlight will be on Robshaw to deliver a strong performance at openside and set the tone for the rest of his pack to follow. He will be aided by back row team-mates Tom Wood and Billy Vunipola as well as a hugely physical front five, which will no doubt have orders to blitz the opposition at the breakdown when the situation allows. The destructive Courtney Lawes and the workaholic Joe Launchbury will be key to this.
Tale of the tens: Dan Carter wins his 100th cap for the All Blacks this Saturday while opposite number, 22 year-old Owen Farrell, will be making his 19th appearance for England. Carter, who made his debut against Wales in 2003, has been among the best fly halves in world rugby for the past decade and remains a master of the position, capable of slicing through defences on his own, creating scores for others and controlling games with his accurate kicking from hands and the tee.
However, in their only previous match up, Farrell came out on top. The Saracens fly half played a central role in England’s victory at Twickenham last year, scoring 17 points and showing tremendous maturity against the world’s best. He has continued to make rapid progress in many areas of his game while his confidence and big-game temperament has never been in doubt. He will relish another contest with Carter.
Quotes from the camps
Andy Farrell (England backs coach):
"It is going to be a tough ask, there is no doubt about that, but I think we are at our best as a nation when a challenge comes our way. Let’s not forget that we are at Twickenham and doing pretty ok ourselves."
Steve Hansen (New Zealand coach): "We were completely outplayed by them last year but this is an opportunity for us to see if we have improved our game to the point where we can be competitive. The players are excited because this is what Test rugby is all about."
Did you know?
- England have won nine of their last 10 internationals
- England have won six straight home games for the first time since 2003
- Dan Carter averages 17.1 points per game against England while Owen Farrell scored 17 points in England’s victory last year
- England have won seven of the 35 meetings with New Zealand since 1905, with the All Blacks recording 27 wins and one game being drawn
- New Zealand have won nine of the last 10 internationals against England and only Martin Johnson’s 2002/03 team have ever secured back-to-back wins over the All Blacks
- New Zealand have won their last 12 internationals and have lost just once in their last 33 matches – to England at Twickenham last year
- When he dotted down last week against France, Kieran Read equalled fellow All Blacks No 8 Zinzan Brooke's world record of 14 tries from the No 8 position.
- New Zealand field the most capped All Blacks players of all time in five positions: Richie McCaw (flanker, 122 caps), Keven Mealamu (hooker, 109), Tony Woodcock (prop, 106), Dan Carter (fly half, 99) and Ma'a Nonu (inside centre, 86)