England v New Zealand
RUGBY UNION Sky Sports Action HD & Main Event HD, kick-off 3pm
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…
‘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
‘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.’
‘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