Long anticipated England v New Zealand rugby clash arranged for 2018

Joe Hall
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England v New Zealand - QBE International
The All Blacks last played England in 2014 (Source: Getty)

The long-anticipated clash between Eddie Jones' England team and World Rugby's No1-ranked side New Zealand has finally been arranged for November 2018.

England's first meeting with the All Blacks in four years will be the second of four Autumn internationals to be played at Twickenham on each Saturday in November next year.

A showdown between the two sides has been pitched as a battle for the mantle as the best team in rugby.

Reigning back-to-back World Cup champions New Zealand have held the No1 ranking since for eight years, losing just once to England in 15 meetings since 2003.

Yet under Australian head coach Jones, England have emerged as the overwhelmingly dominant force in the northern hemisphere and this year equalled a record of 18 Test wins in a row set by Steve Hansen's team in 2016.

Read more: Ollie Phillips - Could culture issues weaken the All Blacks' dominance over world rugby?

The New Zealand fixture will be preceded by the visit of South Africa and followed by fixtures against Japan and Australia.

Japan, previously coached by Eddie Jones, will be making their first trip to Twickenham for only the second fixture between the two nations.

England last played the 2019 Rugby World Cup hosts 30 years ago at the inaugural 1987 tournament.

"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," said England head coach Eddie Jones.

"Over the next yeat 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."

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