New Zealand vs England Predictions: New-look England to pose problem for All Blacks

 | Friday 5th July 2024, 11:47am

Friday 5th July 2024, 11:47am

Alex Cox Rugby Union

After stopping off in Tokyo for a comfortable win against Eddie Jones' Japan side, Borthwick and his side have headed south to New Zealand for the next stop on their Summer tour. The first game of a two Test series against the All Blacks will be under the roof in Dunedin (08:05 BST), before they head up to Auckland next week for a clash at fortress Eden Park.

Read on for Alex Cox's New Zealand vs England prediction, where Razor will be hoping for a sharp start to his All Blacks tenure, but this English side will prove a challenging hurdle to overcome.

New Zealand vs England Betting Tips

  • England +12 Handicap @ 20/21

New Zealand head into this series with an element of uncertainty around them. They have a new coach in Scott Robertson, who has long been touted for the position after building a dynasty with the Crusaders. They are also without a few previously key players and so are having to select new combinations and bring new players into the fold.

There is no doubt that Robertson will need time to put his stamp on his new group of players, so there is a question mark as to what levels this side will reach so early in his tenure. That being said, there is quality across both the pack and back-line and you can be sure the All Blacks will be up for this challenge.

Before the Six Nations, I don't think many England fans will have given Borthwick much chance of going to New Zealand and finding a first victory on Kiwi soil in over 20 years. However an unanticipated victory against Ireland and a strong outing in Lyon during a narrow loss to the French, showed a different side to England which offered hope for the future.

Wigglesworth has been hard at work developing the attack and there have been signs that things are starting to click. This squad has been together for the best part of 5 weeks now which does give England an edge over New Zealand from a cohesion perspective.

Team News

New Zealand

Scott Robertson may have wished to have a few other names to call upon ahead of his first match as the All Blacks head coach - with big names like Mo'unga, Whitelock, Jordan, Roigard all unavailable - but has still been able to name a strong side, highlighting the depth the Kiwi's have at their disposal.

De Groot, veteran Taylor and Lomax will be the front-row trio, with Scott Barrett and miracle-man Tuipulotu in the second-row. The latter was expected to be out injured for a long period of time but was able to recover in time for the Super Rugby Final. The back-row is a scary sight for any England fan - Finau, Papali'I and Savea. Finau is one of the most aggressive tacklers in world rugby and will be tasked on disrupting Marcus Smith's game, whilst Savea is a threat in all facets of the game, especially his dominant carries.

With Smith and Roigard unavailable, it's Perenara that will be at scrum-half, after an impressive season with the Hurricanes. Outside him will be McKenzie, who will be looking for opportunities to cut-open the England defensive line. The midfield duo will be Jordie Barrett and Ioane, with Tele'a and Reece on the wings. Finally, Robertson makes an unexpected call at full-back and names Blues player Perofeta to start, meaning Beauden Barrett will be on the bench this week.

England

Steve Borthwick named his side early ahead of this Test match - perhaps to let the Kiwi's know that his side are set and ready for this contest. It's a settled side and only has a few changes to the side that scored 50+ vs Eddie Jones' Japan side the weekend before last. Marler, George and Stuart will combine in the front-row and will be looking to match - if not exceed - the All Black physicality up-front.

Itoje and Martin will partner in the second-row, with Cunningham-South, Underhill and Earl in the back-row. That loose forward trio will have a big say in the outcome of the game and I think the All Blacks could be caught out with the impact those three can make.

There are no changes in the back-line, with Borthwick opting for continuity out-wide. Mitchell and Marcus Smith continue their half-back partnership - with the latter set for a mouth-watering duel against McKenzie. Lawrence and Slade have linked up well in England's recent matches and it's no surprise they are named in the midfield again this week.

The wingers will be Freeman and Feyi-Waboso, who only have a few caps between them but have made a big impact already and represent an exciting future for English rugby. Finally, Furbank continues at full-back with Borthwick opting for a second ball-player option as opposed to the aerially dominant Steward.

New Zealand vs England Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main New Zealand vs England page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

New Zealand are huge 2/9 favourites to win this one, while an England victory is as long as 18/5, and the draw is at 25/1.

England +12 Handicap @ 20/21

The England players and management have been busy talking up the All Blacks in the media all week, carefully deflecting away any pressure away from them. This England side have shown over the last year or so they are dangerous as underdogs and can use that status as motivation. With some doubts around what we will see from Robertson's new side, England will see an opportunity to spring a surprise.

They have actually produced a result in the last two games agains the Kiwis - a draw at Twickenham in 2022 and the World Cup semi-final in 2019. A win may prove a step too far, but I think they can keep this contest closer than the handicap suggests.

Find more Rugby Union Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights.

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