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Match preview: All Blacks vs England

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Thursday Jul 11, 2024

The mighty All Blacks will welcome England to their Eden Park fortress on Saturday for the second and final test between the two sides this summer.

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Having not lost a test at Eden Park since 1994, the All Blacks will feel confident fighting off an England side looking to build upon their impressive display in Dunedin last weekend.

The key change in the All Black squad is at half-back, where Finlay Christie will step in to replace TJ Perenara, who has been ruled out with a leg injury.

“Finlay has worked hard and earned his place in the starting side and it will be a proud day for Cortez and his whānau. He’s a talented young man who is ready for Test footy,” head coach Scott Robertson said.

“We can feel New Zealand’s support here in Auckland and we will hear it at a sold-out Eden Park. It’s a very special venue to the All Blacks, and we’re going there on Saturday to win the series against England.”

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JULY 11: Finlay Christie of the New Zealand All Blacks during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at Eden Parkon July 11, 2024 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The visitors also make just the one change to the squad that pushed the All Blacks to the wire last weekend, with young Fin Baxter coming in for the injured Joe Marler.

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Speaking ahead of the occasion, England head coach Steve Borthwick had the following to say:

“Eden Park is a stadium packed with history and with memories of great rugby encounters. We are delighted to be playing there this Saturday in what I anticipate will be another excellent Test encounter.  
 
“New Zealand has a formidable record at this venue, but with that comes the pressure of expectation. It will be interesting to see how New Zealand manages that expectation in front of a full house.
 
“I’d like to pay special tribute to Dan Cole who will become England’s second most capped men’s player of all time on the weekend.
 
“Dan has shown nothing but dedication and determination throughout his career, and reaching this milestone is a remarkable feat. He is a superb rugby player, a wonderful role model, and we all look forward to sharing a memorable day with him on Saturday.”

In the 44-game history between the two sides, England has only won 8 times whilst the All Blacks have won 34 times, with just the two draws.

New Zealand vs England Lineups

New Zealand: Perofeta; Reece, Ioane, J Barrett, Tele’a; McKenzie, Christie; De Groot, Taylor, Lomax, S Barrett (capt), Tuipulotu, Finau, Papali’i, Savea.

Replacements: Aumua, Tu’ungafasi, Newell, Vaa’i, Jacobson, Ratima, Lienert-Brown, B Barrett.

England: Furbank; Feyi-Waboso, Slade, Lawrence, Freeman; M Smith, Mitchell; Baxter, George (capt), Stuart, Itoje, Martin, Cunningham-South, Underhill, Earl.

Replacements: Dan, Rodd, Cole, Coles, Curry, Spencer, F Smith, Sleightholme.

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All Black second row Brodie Retallick joins Jim Hamilton for the latest episode of Walk the Talk, touching on life in Japan, RWC 2023 and the future of All Black rugby. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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