England vs New Zealand: Autumn international match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Autumn International Rugby fixture at Twickenham

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The Independent Online

Following a disappointing Tour of New Zealand in June, England will be hoping to impose themselves a little better this time round.

Stuart Lancaster has handed a debut start to Fijian-born Semesa Rokoduguni, after impressing on the wing with Bath. Rokodugani qualifies on residency and serves in the British Army as a lance corporal in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. This has seen the Bath winger even venture out into Afghanistan.

Goerge Kruis and Anthony Watson, who are also uncapped, find a place on the bench.

In a side captained by Chris Robshaw, Brad Barritt and Kyle Eastmond make up the centre pairing while Owen Farrell and Danny Care resume their partnership at half-back.

New Zealand have lost just one of their previous 10 matches and come in off the back of an easy 74-6 win over USA.

Many first team regulars were rested for the game in Chicago, and Saturday’s clash with England sees the return of Brodie Retallick and Julian Savea as well as captain Richie McCaw.

The All Blacks’ most capped centre, Conrad Smith, will partner Sonny Bill Williams while half-back Aaron Smith makes his 11th start of the year.

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New Zealand players perform the Haka before taking on the United States

KICK-OFF:

Saturday, 2.30pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

New Zealand 36 (Tries: Savea 3, A Smith 2) England 13 (Try: Yarde), New Zealand Tour, June 2014

New Zealand 28 (Tries: B Smith, Savea, Nonu) England 27 (Tries: Yarde, Brown, Ashton), New Zealand Tour, June 2014

New Zealand 20 (Try: C Smith) England 15, New Zealand Tour, June 2014

STATS…

In the last three games against England, New Zealand have had a different Smith score a try. Aaron, Ben and Conrad, it’s as easy as ABC.

In 39 games against New Zealand, England have only won seven.

England have beaten New Zealand only once in 10 previous attempts.

The All Blacks have lost just twice in 46 Tests.

ODDS…

England to win: 3.5

New Zealand to win: 1.3

Draw: 21.0

CLASSIC MOMENT/MATCH

On December 1 2012 in another Autumn International, England recorded a famous 38-21 win over New Zealand. The All Blacks who were world champions at the time and unbeaten in 20, arrived at Twickenham as strong favourites.

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Chris Robshaw guided England to victory over the All Blacks in 2012

England went 15-0 up after 42 minutes before New Zealand rallied back to 15-14 through Savea and Read tries. This didn’t bother Stuart Lancaster’s side who showed resilience in defence and relentlessness in attack. Winning by 17 points over the best team in the world sent Twickenham into pandemonium.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 2 at 2.30pm, highlights on BBC Three at 7.00pm.

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