England coach Eddie Jones oversees a ruck break down during training session last month.
England coach Eddie Jones oversees a ruck break down during training session last month. Alastair Grant

Lure of the All Blacks hits Jones

NOT scheduled to clash until late 2018, the All Blacks and England could be headed for a surprise meeting in November this year.

England coach Eddie Jones has reportedly backed an approach to New Zealand Rugby to explore the possibility of a match between the world heavyweights on November 4, when the All Blacks are due to play the Barbarians.

The Rugby Football Union said in a statement: "We are definitely playing New Zealand in 2018. If there now might be an opportunity to play them this year we want to pursue it, but there are many parts to this and many considerations to be discussed."

If the clash were to occur it would have to be a huge money-spinner for the All Blacks, who according to reports would receive about $4.8 million for playing the Barbarians in an add-on fixture to their annual end-of-season tour.

Some nifty negotiations would also be required to clear the release of players in the England Premiership, after an autumn fixture list for England involving Australia, Argentina and Samoa.

England and New Zealand last clashed in 2014, with the All Blacks winning a three Test series at home 3-0.

England will become the sixth team to secure back-to-back grand slams - as well as beating the All Blacks' record of 18 consecutive Test wins - if it beats Ireland in Dublin on Friday.

News Corp Australia


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