The rugby world cup semi-final – New Zealand v England starts at 9am Saturday, we have starting teams, preview, stats and betting advice.
This could be one of the best games of rugby we have seen in a long time, England smashed Australia and All Blacks made Ireland look like at U11 side.
Hansen has made a big call with lock Scott Barrett starting on the flank for the first time, a clear sign New Zealand thinks England’s line-out can be picked off, as was the case at Twickenham a year ago.
England will need to score early and keep New Zealand guessing, expect Farrell to kick every penalty and keep the scoreboard ticking. They won’t be kicking to the corner on Saturday.
Starting teams New Zeland v England
Steve Hansen has dropped flanker Sam Cane to the bench and started Scott Barrett
New Zealand: Beauden Barrett; Sevu Reece, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, George Bridge; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, Kieran Read (capt).
Replacements: Dane Coles, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta’avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Cane, TJ Perenara, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett.
England will start George Ford at fly-half, with captain Owen Farrell shifting to inside centre.
England: Daly; Watson, Tuilagi, Farrell (capt), May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Lawes, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Cole, Kruis, Wilson, Heinz, Slade, Joseph.
England coach Eddie Jones said:
“When you get to this stage of a World Cup it is all about focusing on the moment and getting yourself physically right.
“New Zealand are a great team – they have an impressive winning record since the last World Cup.
“Like any good team, you have to take time and space away from them and you have to find areas you can pressure them.
“We believe we have identified a number of areas where we can do that.”
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said:
“The reality is both teams have got pressure on them, different types of pressure,” said Hansen.
“We are going to attempt to win this game, and if we do, we will be attempting to do something that has never been done before. That brings its own pressure, as Eddie has highlighted.
“But then you have got a team that has come out of a previous tournament having not been as successful as they wanted to be. They have built themselves up for four years to do this job, and that brings its own pressure, a different type of pressure, but still pressure.”
This is a very hard game to call, New Zealand is -7 on the handicap and England can be backed at 3/1 to win the match. If New Zealand play like they did against Ireland they could win by this game by 25pts and they price for that is 5/1.