RECAP: New Zealand v England
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the World Cup semifinal match between New Zealand and England in Yokohama.
* To read our match report: CLICK HERE!
England coach Eddie Jones heads into a World Cup semifinal against New Zealand taking inspiration from legendary football manager Alex Ferguson.
Saturday’s fixture will be the key fixture of Jones’s four-year reign, with the veteran Australian making no secret of his desire to lead England to World Cup glory following their embarrassing first-round exit on home soil in 2015.
But they face the toughest challenge possible this weekend, with reigning champions New Zealand having not lost a World Cup match since a 2007 quarterfinal defeat by France.
Prediction: The match is guaranteed to be a blockbuster. Throughout the week Eddie Jones has labelled his team as the underdog and installed us against the odds mentality. It will certainly fuel their effort when they go against the best team in the world. It will be closely contested, however, it’s very difficult to find in any weakness in Steve Hansen’s team thus New Zealand will take the win by five points.
* To read our full preview, CLICK HERE!
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England: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Dan Cole, 19 George Kruis, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Jonathan Joseph.
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Scott Barrett, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Cody Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Sam Cane, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Sonny Bill Williams, 23 Jordie Barrett.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Pascal Gaüzère (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)