Date set for England-All Blacks showdown

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

England will take on the All Blacks on November 10, 2018, the RFU confirmed on Wednesday.

The much-anticipated showdown between the two powerhouses of the past 18 months will be the first time in four years that the countries have met.

New Zealand and England share the record for most consecutive Test wins (18), having notched the mark in the past year, runs that sparked speculation they would try and organise a clash in November this year, one that would surely be well-attended and watched across the world.

Instead, the All Blacks will take on the Barbarians to kick off their end-of-year tour.

England will finish their 2018 home Tests against Australia, with the two nations having played at least once every year since 1997.

Australia has lost its last four Tests against England, including a three-Test series at home last year, and will meet England in the 2017 Spring Tour.

The All Blacks put aside off-field drama to win the opening Bledisloe. Photo: Getty ImagesEngland will take on South Africa and Japan in their other matches to end their 2018, a series coach Eddie Jones says will be critical for their World Cup preparation.

"The 2018 Old Mutual Wealth Series is incredibly important for England as we build towards the Rugby World Cup in 2019,”he said.

“We want to win that series 4-0 and we will need to play extremely well to beat four very good teams over a four-week period.

“The series will give us a really good indicator of where we are as a squad, a year out from the Rugby World Cup, and gives us a real focus on what we have to do over the next 12 months to be ready for that series and win." 

“Over the next year we need to continue to develop a bulletproof side, that can find ways to win in matches, and we will have to work hard and be smart in what we do to bridge the gap between us and the All Blacks.

“Our ambition is to be the number one team in the world going into the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.”