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All Blacks can play us now, says Jones

Press Association logoPress Association 16/03/2017

Eddie Jones has responded to the prospect of England facing New Zealand this year by joking that he would like the fixture to be staged straight after Saturday's match in Dublin.

The Rugby Football Union has approached the All Blacks with a view to staging a showdown at Twickenham on November 4 as an additional autumn international.

The sport's top two teams are not officially due to meet for another 18 months and following England's successive Six Nations titles, the clamour for them to lock horns is growing.

Victory over Ireland would see the champions defend the grand slam and surpass the All Blacks' record of 18 straight Test wins, setting the scene for a mouth-watering collision against Steve Hansen's men.

Jones, though, put his tongue squarely in his cheek when discussing the opportunity.

"If the All Blacks want to turn up to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and want to play us after Ireland, then we'll consider it," Jones quipped.

"Would we win? After we'd beaten Ireland? Who knows? It would be interesting, wouldn't it?"

It is understood that the proposal for a match against New Zealand was made with Jones' approval, but the Australian refused to discuss the prospect of an early clash with the triple world champions.

"I've got no view on that, I'm not an administrator. I haven't negotiated contracts, all I'm worried about is Ireland," Jones said.

"The All Blacks have got nothing to do with us. We want to be the No.1 team in the world. When we get the opportunity to play them, we'll play them."

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