Eng­land v New Zealand

RUGBY UNION Sky Sports Ac­tion HD & Main Event HD, kick-off 3pm

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Ed­die Jones’ Eng­land play the world cham­pi­ons, the All Blacks, in the pick of this week’s au­tumn in­ter­na­tional matches.

LIVE RUGBY UNION

Satur­day, Sky Sports Ac­tion HD &

Sky Sports Main Event HD, kick-off 3pm

IT’S FOUR YEARS since Eng­land and New Zealand last played each other – with the All Blacks run­ning out 24-21 win­ners at Twick­en­ham in Novem­ber 2014. Now the two sides fi­nally face off again, back at Twick­en­ham, on Satur­day.

Al­though Ed­die Jones’ Eng­land fin­ished fifth in the 2018 Six Na­tions and are suf­fer­ing a ma­jor in­jury cri­sis, it prom­ises to be a blood-and-guts af­fair.

We asked Sky Sports pre­sen­ter James Gem­mell for his views on the big match…

UL­TI­MATE SHOW­DOWN

‘The game has been dubbed the clash of the ti­tans, and it has all of the in­ter­est and all of the in­trigue to war­rant that claim. Eng­land’s form has dipped a lit­tle bit this year, but world cham­pi­ons New Zealand have wob­bled as well. South Africa de­feated them on home turf in Welling­ton in the Rugby Cham­pi­onship and very few teams do that. They al­most did it again in Pretoria, which has shown the All Blacks to be beat­able, so Eng­land will be pre­par­ing for Satur­day with a de­gree

of con­fi­dence.’

WIN­NING MEN­TAL­ITY

‘New Zealand have been vul­ner­a­ble if the ball is played very quickly by the op­po­si­tion, es­pe­cially if they have a snip­ing num­ber nine and a play­maker in the 10 chan­nel. Eng­land have play­ers with those abil­i­ties so a lot will de­pend on how coach Ed­die Jones

goes about his se­lec­tion. I think he will play his best team, while the All Blacks tra­di­tion­ally use the Novem­ber Tests as a trial for younger play­ers.’

PLAYER POWER

‘Nine and 10 are the big po­si­tions for both sides – who they pick and how they con­trol the game. New Zealand’s Beau­den Bar­rett is the cur­rent player of the year, al­though his form has been a lit­tle bit ques­tioned. When he doesn’t play well New Zealand tend not to play well. For Eng­land, Owen Far­rell is the most im­por­tant player. It just de­pends on whether he plays 10 or 12. He is so vi­tal to how and where they play.’

ENG­LAND’S OWEN FAR­RELL

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