The Roses set for short NZ tour in 2024
NEWS: New England coach Steve Borthwick’s maiden tour will be to New Zealand in 2024 for a test series against the All Blacks.
England have not played in New Zealand since 2014, when Stuart Lancaster was the head coach and they lost the series 3-0. They have faced the All Blacks only three times in the past eight years.
Borthwick has the Six Nations and four warm-up matches on these shores before the World Cup, which starts in September so there will be no summer tour next year.
Other nations who will be in action include Wales that are due to face Australia, Ireland are primed to go to South Africa and Scotland are set for tests in the Pacific Islands. It is also understood that the plan is for France to visit Argentina and for Italy to play the United States and Canada.
Borthwick has nine tests before the start of the World Cup since taking over as head coach from Eddie Jones. The latter never visited the land of the long white cloud during seven years at the helm as coach.
Five of those tests will come in the Six Nations, plus four World Cup warm-ups, against Wales (twice), Ireland and Fiji in August.
The full schedules for the trips have not been finalised, but it is believed that there are options for teams to add a third test against an emerging nation to their tour programme. For example, England could arrange an extra match against Fiji, Tonga, Samoa or the Māori All Blacks, if they wished to.
These match-ups between southern and northern hemisphere nations could be the last of the fully fledged traditional tours, as the British & Irish Lions will go to Australia in 2025, and then the Nations Championship is set to begin in 2026.
Global rugby executives are still finalising plans for a revamped calendar, with the centrepiece a 24-team, two-division international league with promotion and relegation and a grand final every two years.
If that is introduced by 2026, as planned, it would involve teams playing multiple countries in July and November as part of a league table, rather than the present model, in which stand-alone cross-hemisphere series are played each summer.