England to play world champions New Zealand for the first time since 2014 as their fixtures for the 2018 Old Mutual Wealth Series are confirmed.
Eddie Jones’ side will play four Test matches in next season’s series at Twickenham Stadium against South Africa (3 November), New Zealand (10 November), Japan (17 November) and Australia (24 November).
All matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sports with kick off times to be confirmed at a later date.
England will host South Africa (3 November) in the first match of the series. The Springboks were beaten by England 37-21 the last time the two sides met in 2016. Ahead of the Old Mutual Wealth game at Twickenham, Jones’ team will travel to South Africa this June for a three-Test series.
England will then face the All Blacks (10 November) for the first time in four years. In 2014 England lost four times to the All Blacks including a three-Test series in New Zealand. They last beat New Zealand in 2012, defeating the number one side in the world 38-21 at Twickenham.
England’s Test match against Japan (17 November) will be only the second time in history the two sides have played each other. The only previous meeting between the two nations was at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 when England secured a comfortable 60-7 victory over the Brave Blossoms in Sydney.
In the fourth test, England will face Australia (24 November) who have lost their last four matches against Jones’ side. The Wallabies will play England on 18 November in this year’s Old Mutual Wealth Series between England’s matches against Argentina (11 November) and Samoa (25 November).
England Head Coach Eddie Jones said: “The 2018 Old Mutual Wealth Series is incredibly important for England as we build towards the Rugby World Cup in 2019.
“We want to win that series 4-0 and we will need to play extremely well to beat four very good teams over a four-week period.
“The series will give us a really good indicator of where we are as a squad, a year out from the Rugby World Cup, and gives us a real focus on what we have to do over the next 12 months to be ready for that series and win.
“Over the next year we need to continue to develop a bulletproof side, that can find ways to win in matches, and we will have to work hard and be smart in what we do to bridge the gap between us and the All Blacks. Our ambition is to be the number one team in the world going into the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.”
Michelle Andrews, Marketing Director, Old Mutual Wealth said: “The third Old Mutual Wealth Series sees England take on some really exciting opposition. With 2019 being a big year for rugby these fixtures will have added importance for the teams and fans alike.” Old Mutual Wealth’s support of England Rugby extends from the men’s and women’s elite game to the grassroots through Old Mutual Wealth Kids First. Aimed at U7 to U13 boys and girls Old Mutual Wealth Kids First puts children first, upskills coaches and creates a great rugby environment, so that everyone stays in the game for longer.