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Jamie George's message to his England teammates ahead of All Black Test

By PA
Jamie George of England during the Quilter International match between England and New Zealand at Twickenham Stadium on November 10, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

Jamie George has urged his England team-mates to embrace the challenge of taking on the All Blacks in New Zealand.

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England arrived in Auckland fresh from a 52-17 victory over Japan on Saturday, which ensured Steve Borthwick’s team made the perfect start to a stern summer examination.

The size of the task at hand is laid bare by England’s record against the All Blacks – eight wins in 43 Tests and only two achieved in New Zealand.

However, England captain George is excited to take on the All Blacks in a two-Test series which starts on July 6.

“My message to the team is to soak it in, to love it and to enjoy it,” George told New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ.

“This is what rugby for me is all about. Coming out to tours like this, to hostile places and trying to compete against the best.”

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George was speaking at a food bank in west Auckland run by All Blacks great Sir Michael Jones.

The England captain along with other members of the squad offered to pack food boxes and brought along Yorkshire Tea after they landed in the country on Monday.

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He added: “We couldn’t respect Michael any more. I am sure my old man will be buzzing (that I’ve met him).”

Victory over Japan continued England’s resurgence under Borthwick after they ended a mixed Six Nations campaign with strong displays against Ireland and France.

It is a different story for New Zealand with the first Test in Dunedin set to be the first time the group are together since they finished runners-up to South Africa at the 2023 World Cup in October.

Ian Foster left his role as head coach following the tournament and has been replaced by Scott Robertson, who guided Crusaders to seven consecutive Super Rugby championships before he departed to take over the All Blacks.

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George admitted: “I think there is an element of the unknown.

“The challenge is almost not being blown away by the skill level and the physicality. The style of play they’re probably going to play is likely to be similar to the Crusaders.”

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Comments

6 Comments
W
Warner 19 days ago

New players , new coaches , new era.
First up game who knows .
I’m backing the BLACK ATTACK
to win both games convincingly by 13+
CANT WAIT

J
John 20 days ago

‘Don’t suck guys’….thanks Jamie

J
Josh 20 days ago

“The style of play they’re probably going to play is likely to be similar to the Crusaders.” Boy are they in for a rude awakening if they’re thinking like that

F
Forward pass 20 days ago

I love hearing these sorts of stories. Its fantastic that a guy like Jones is running food banks and its great that the English team chipped in for a day. These sorts of days bring attention to the needs of those who need our help.

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finn 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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