- Get up to speed on when, where and how to watch New Zealand vs England
- Read about the key battles and quotes from each camp
Photo: Getty Images
This Anglo-Kiwi rivalry really is stepping up to epic proportions ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 and last Saturday at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium we witnessed another exceptional chapter, the All Blacks eventually triumphing 28-27 to seal what has been a superb series.
In truth, the scoreline perhaps flattered England. After weathering an early storm from the tourists and reaching the haven of half-time at only 10-6 down, New Zealand stormed into the second period at their stunning best. Just 23 minutes later, they had scored three tries and killed off the contest. Late consolations from Mike Brown and Chris Ashton proved futile.
However, Stuart Lancaster is determined to finish on a high as he heads towards a pivotal autumn back at Twickenham. He has made seven changes due to a mixture of fitness and form and – with the likes of Kyle Eastmond and Courtney Lawes back in the fold – England will not want for pace, physicality or ambition in Hamilton.
Steve Hansen is able to call upon Kieran Read for the first time this series and, because of Conrad Smith's broken thumb, unleashes burgeoning Highlander Malakai Fekitoa for a maiden Test start.
When? Saturday, June 21
Where? Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off? 8.35am BST
How to keep up with the action
- Live on SKY Sports 1 from 8am. Regular updates on BBC Five Live
- Live text commentary on the free RFU iPhone app (search iTunes for Official RFU)
- Live score updates from @EnglandRugby on Twitter
- Match report, post-match interviews and highlights on RFU.com
New Zealand: 15. Ben Smith, 14. Cory Jane, 13. Malakai Fekitoa, 12. Ma'a Nonu, 11. Julian Savea, 10. Aaron Cruden, 9. Aaron Smith; 1. Tony Woodcock, 2. Dane Coles, 3. Owen Franks, 4. Brodie Retallick, 5. Sam Whitelock, 6. Jerome Kaino, 7. Richie McCaw (captain), 8. Kieran Read.
Replacements: 16. Keven Mealamu, 17. Wyatt Crockett, 18. Charlie Faumuina, 19. Patrick Tuipolotu, 20. Liam Messam, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Beauden Barrett, 23. Ryan Crotty.
England: 15. Mike Brown, 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Manu Tuilagi, 12. Kyle Eastmond, 11. Marland Yarde, 10. Freddie Burns, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Joe Marler, 2. Dylan Hartley, 3. David Wilson, 4. Joe Launchbury, 5. Courtney Lawes, 6. Tom Wood, 7. Chris Robshaw (captain), 8. Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16. Rob Webber, 17. Matt Mullan, 18. Kieran Brookes, 19. Dave Attwood, 20. Ben Morgan, 21. Lee Dickson, 22. Danny Cipriani, 23. Luther Burrell.
Dane Coles vs Dylan Hartley: Coles was throughly outplayed by Rob Webber at Eden Park but responded superbly last Saturday, bringing the all-court game that defines his influence for the Hurricanes to the Test arena. There was a 100 per cent return from the lineout, but it was his bustling carries and work-rate in defence – he made 10 tackles – that justified Hansen's faith.
With 56 caps under his belt now, Hartley is the most experienced member of Lancaster's set-up. As such, he will be an extremely important leadership figure in Hamilton as England attempt to put an 80-minute performance together. Still sprightly after a long domestic campaign – he racked up a whopping 10 tackles in a 30-minute cameo from the bench at Forsyth Barr Stadium – the Rotorua-born Northampton Saint is desperately eager to help his side secure a consolation triumph.
Kieran Read vs Billy Vunipola: Read was by far and away the best player in a supreme All Blacks outfit over the course of their flawless, undefeated 2013. The sight of his loping stride in the wider channels became depressingly familiar for fans of other nations. Indeed, his try and outrageous assist at Twickenham back in November set the All Blacks on their way to a 30-22 win.
Photo: Getty Images
However, that afternoon also witnessed the coming-of-age of England's own burgeoning back-row figure. Vunipola was outstanding in defeat, carrying 18 times in a 57-minute shift and puncturing numerous All Blacks tackles as the hosts' forwards hauled their team back into contention at HQ. Starting at the base of England's scrum, the Saracen will want to finish his season with a bang.
Malakai Fekitoa vs Manu Tuilagi: This one could be the first episode in a blockbuster duel that lasts a decade – such are the crowd-pleasing talents of these two midfield monsters. In the absence of stalwart Conrad Smith due to a fractured thumb, Fekitoa wins his second cap and a maiden Test start. In sublime form for the Highlanders since February, there is little doubt as to his raw ability. Lightning pace, a ferocious fend and a slingy offloading game have provided excruciating headaches for Super 15 defences. Can he translate that into an eye-catching international showing?
The man opposite him won't make things easy. Reunited with Kyle Eastmond and set on rekindling the chemistry of their first Test partnership, Tuilagi is also looking very dangerous. He has taken 16 of 22 carries over the gainline so far this series and will almost certainly be launched off first-phase possession as England look to establish a platform.
Quotes from the camps
Steve Hansen (New Zealand Head Coach): "We’re playing one of the best sides in the world and managing to come out on the right side of the result.
"We’re learning about ourselves and about England. They have always been a team we enjoy playing. They’re right up there."
Stuart Lancaster (England Head Coach): "It takes consistency over the course of the 80 minutes [to beat New Zealand]. We’ve been very good in lots of the first game and the majority of the second. I think the margins between the teams are very small and Steve Hansen has said the same.
Photo: Getty Images
"To win on Saturday is going to take that consistency and intensity we showed in the first Test, but for the entire 80 minutes."
- June 2014: New Zealand 28 England 27, Dunedin
- June 2014: New Zealand 20 England 15, Auckland
- November 2013: England 22 New Zealand 30, Twickenham
- December 2012: England 38 New Zealand 21, Twickenham
- November 2010: England 16 New Zealand 26, Twickenham
Did you know?
- If the All Blacks secure another victory and a series whitewash, they also draw level with the world record for consecutive Test match wins for tier one nations (17)
- The signs are good for Hansen's men. New Zealand have only lost once at Waikato Stadium and in 10 matches at the venue they have scored 64 tries
- However, England have not lost three consecutive times since November 2008 (to Australia, South Africa and New Zealand at Twickenham)
- Mike Brown did not score a try in his first 21 matches for England between 2007 and 2013. In 2014, he has five in seven games
- Beauden Barrett has won all 18 of his Tests for the All Blacks, which have featured two starts and 16 appearances from the bench. No player has represented their country that many times without defeat