Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

All Blacks call up the big guns for England Test

All Blacks call up the big guns for England Test

Jamie George believes England players' experience during the British and Irish Lions' drawn series in New Zealand will stand them in good stead against the All Blacks at Twickenham.

England face New Zealand for the first time in four years on Saturday when the All Blacks visit Twickenham.

"That try-scoring skill is nothing coached".

Like the class of 2018, New Zealand were in bristling form in 2012 - they had already beaten Scotland 51-22, Italy 42-10 and Wales 33-10.

"The acceleration requirement of the players is 30 percent more now than it was two or three years ago, so the game's getting physically more intense and therefore you need to be able to particularly fill the high-work rate positions with two players because it's nearly impossible now to field a front-rower for 80 minutes".

Manu Tuilagi is overlooked for the bench as England look to restore him to full fitness in time for the final two matches of the autumn against Japan and Australia.

"England at home is always a massive challenge for anyone", he said.

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Sam Underhill comes in at open-side flanker in the absence of Tom Curry, who will miss the remainder of the November internationals due to an ankle injury.

"He's a tough rooster, a warrior".

This week the All Blacks' management and players regularly touched on the differences in style between the southern and northern hemispheres, nearly taunting England to deviate from its script. They want to make a statement. "He puts his body on the line, he doesn't play in a dinner suit".

New Zealand remain the outstanding team in worldwide rugby although the All Blacks are not invincible.

"The thing that impressed me most is that in that French league you can have very, very good players who when they get there deteriorate because they get lazy", he added.

Injury-depleted England are facing the strongest available All Blacks team complete with the likes of Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane and Brodie Retallick, but are buoyed by last Saturday's stirring victory over South Africa. "I need to be competitive and abrasive, but I have to react to the referee better and understand what he is and isn't going to let go", he said. "I see them as being equally important".

And although England's leading Lions - Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Ben Te'o, Elliot Daly, Jamie George - may feel they have inside oil to draw on, the All Blacks do not appear anxious. Replacements: J George (Saracens), A Hepburn (Exeter), H Williams (Exeter), C Ewels (Bath), C Lawes (Northampton), D Care (Harlequins), G Ford (Leicester) J Nowell (Exeter).

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