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England vs All Blacks Test hopes thwarted

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/03/2017

England's moonshot to set up a Test rugby showdown with the All Blacks in November is reportedly dead in the water.

New Zealand Rugby had reportedly come in for a mega-offer from England's Rugby Football Union for a November 4 clash at Twickenham, with the two unions to share any revenue earned.

But English media reports on Wednesday (NZDT) suggested any chance of the two sides playing is over, with the All Blacks to instead play the Barbarians.

The match, on the same November 4 date and also at Twickenham, will mark the invitational side's 125th anniversary.

NZR boss Steve Tew reportedly insisted to his RFU counterparts that his Test outfit play the invitational match, which they will now rubber-stamp.

The match against the Barbarians will be followed by Tests against France, Scotland and Wales on the side's northern tour.

England have recently completed 18 straight Test wins, brought to an end by Ireland in last week's Six Nations clash, and coach Eddie Jones has expressed his interest in seeing his side take on New Zealand.

The two sides have already locked in a Test for 2018.

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