England set to face New Zealand in ‘mini World Cup’ next autumn

England will face New Zealand for the first time since the 2019 World Cup semi-final next autumn as part of a bumper set of November internationals that will deliver a much-needed financial boost to the Rugby Football Union.

England will also host the world champions South Africa as well as Japan and Argentina – both pool stage opponents at the 2023 World Cup – but the All Blacks match is the marquee fixture. It will be only the third time in eight years England have hosted New Zealand at Twickenham and, if full crowds are permitted, the RFU will hope to make more than £10m from the fixture.

The four matches round off a busy 12-match year for England with Eddie Jones’s side also facing a three-Test tour of Australia next summer. Given England are due to meet Argentina and Japan at France 2023 and could conceivably meet New Zealand and South Africa in the knockout stages, Jones has likened the autumn schedule as a “mini World Cup”.

Jones said: “These fixtures will be a really important part of our preparation for the 2023 World Cup. It’s almost a mini World Cup in itself and we’re fortunate to have it less than a year before the tournament.”

England last played New Zealand at Twickenham in 2018, going down by a point in controversial circumstances when Sam Underhill’s late try was ruled out. It was the first meeting since 2014 and matches between the two sides have become a rarity amid friction over revenue sharing.

The All Blacks will return to Twickenham on 19 November, however, following Argentina and Japan with England rounding off the campaign against the Springboks, as was the case last month when Marcus Smith’s last-minute penalty secured a 27-26 victory.

“It will be a good litmus test for the team to see where we are at, culminating in playing first and second in the world,” added Jones. “We saw how much of a difference having a full Twickenham stadium was this autumn and we can’t wait to play a series of games against such quality opposition in front of our supporters.”




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