All Blacks reckon clash with England bigger than Lions series

All Blacks reckon clash with England bigger than Lions series

Joe Moody is assisted by Dr Tony Page after suffering a bad cut to his eye during a New Zealand All Blacks training session at the Lensbury Hotel on November 6, 2018 in London, England.

Jones has taken to describing his replacements as "finishers" and, after making three changes to his starting team to face New Zealand on Saturday, he was somewhat exasperated at the media's interest in the fact that Chris Ashton was chosen to start ahead of Jack Nowell - swapping their roles from last week's win over South Africa.

The 31-year-old has amassed 40 caps in an worldwide career interrupted by suspension, falling out of favour with successive England coaches and a season-long spell in Toulon.

Now restored to the starting XV, his strike rate of 19 tries is evidence of a predatory instinct that Jones insists must be allowed to flourish. Five of England's last six defeats to New Zealand have been by no more than ten points so a narrow away victory looks the value bet. "That's given this week a sharper edge, which is good", Hansen told a news conference. "Wherever there's trouble, there's Ashton", says Jones.

"You have to give them due respect for that". As now, we were playing the world champions; they'd been unbeaten since the World Cup and you know that if you're not playing somewhere near your best you're going to get spanked because they're a quality side.

"If he hadn't got into so much trouble, he'd have played a few Tests already", said Jones. Wherever there's trouble, there's Ashton.

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Ben Moon will make his first test start at loosehead prop and Sam Underhill replaces injured openside flanker Tom Curry.

Owen Farrell will continue to co-captain the team one week after he escaped disciplinary action for a controversial injury-time tackle on Andre Esterhuizen.

"England at home is always a massive challenge for anyone", he said. "Warrior" and "rooster" have been added to "spiritual leader" in outlining the playmaker's importance to England.

"The way I play is fairly on the line".

"They (England) play a game, it can be fairly conservative, but it wins football (rugby) games, and they've got some guys out there who are pretty devastating with ball-in-hand". "We have natural athletes who want to run and carry the ball and pass the ball". "He's a competitor. You can't put blokes like him in cotton wool". "He and Tenzing climbed that mountain for the first time, when New Zealand was unheralded, a place of farmers and colonials, so to speak. 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", Wisemantel said.

"Then I slept in a not great bed and that just wrote it off. I see them as being equally important". This result has sent them into the New Zealand clash with more belief even if a big improvement is required to threaten the world champions.

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