All Blacks decide against adding England test

November international had been mooted but New Zealand stick with Barbarians date

England were denied a top-tier record 19th successive win with defeat in Dublin last weekend. Photograph: PA Wire

England were denied a top-tier record 19th successive win with defeat in Dublin last weekend. Photograph: PA Wire

 

New Zealand will play the Barbarians at Twickenham on November 4th after the world champions opted not to face England instead.

Eddie Jones’ Six Nations champions had hoped to play the All Blacks in an Autumn test arranged at short notice.

But the Barbarians, an invitational side, have received Rugby Football Union approval to play New Zealand at the venue where they retained the world title in October 2015.

A RFU spokesperson said: “We explored whether there was an opportunity to play New Zealand this year, but they have chosen to play the Barbarians.”

England and the All Blacks last met in November 2014 and Jones had hoped his improving side could test themselves against the world’s top team.

Some members of Jones’ squad will play the All Blacks in June and July, when the British and Irish Lions tour New Zealand for a three-Test series.

England equalled New Zealand’s 18-test winning run with victory over Scotland earlier this month, but defeat to Ireland in Dublin last Saturday denied Jones’ men successive Grand Slams and a top-tier record 19th successive win. It was the first loss of Jones’ reign.

Ireland also ended New Zealand’s 18-test winning streak with victory in Chicago last November.

The Barbarians are next in action against England at Twickenham on May 28th and play Ulster on June 1st.

Departing Scotland head coach Vern Cotter takes charge of the team for those fixtures.

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