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England need win over All Blacks to save series

Julian Savea celebrates with Aaron Smith

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Article Published: Friday 13 June 2014|

New Zealand's Julian Savea vs England's Manu Tuilagi could go some way to deciding Saturday's crucial second Test between the All Blacks and England in Dunedin.

The All Blacks try-scoring machine Julian Savea, at 107 kilos, lines up against England blockbuster, the 110-kilo Manu Tuilagi, as both sides look for a match-winning weapon.

"It will be a fascinating confrontation," England coach Stuart Lancaster said of his gamble to move Tuilagi away from his usual centre position, giving him free rein to rampage down the flank.

Both sides talked of stepped-up intensity for a fast-paced game with weather not a factor under the roofed Forsyth Barr Stadium.

"Everyone realises that some of the inaccuracies we had last week, and the energy we had especially, in the first half, if we get that again we're going to come second," All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said.

England assistant coach Graham Rowntree responded, saying the tourists "certainly want to play quick. The stadium will suit us".

A win to the All Blacks will wrap up the series after they escaped with a 20-15 victory in the first Test in Auckland while success for England will ensure the series goes to a decider in the third and final Test in Hamilton next weekend.

Lancaster and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen both paid respects to the rival wings who are now tasked with opening up the second Test.

"Savea is a huge attacking threat for them. If you look back at the game in November against us, his threat was clear because he scored two tries. He's a key man for them," Lancaster said.

Hansen rated Tuilagi, who regularly required two defenders to bring him down in Auckland, as a handful no matter where he plays.

"If he was a hooker he would be tough as he is such a good ball carrier. But at wing he will have to work and wing is a totally different position to centre," the All Blacks mentor said.

The return of Savea from injury is the only change to the All Blacks with Hansen giving his first-pick side a second chance to prove themselves better than the stuttering performers on show in Auckland.

They have spent the week going back to basics, working on tightening cohesion in scrums and lineouts, having a backline that can hold and pass the ball with precision and across the board making tackles stick.

"We have gone away and worked hard on the areas to work on," Hansen said.

"If that is good enough to win the game, then that is great. If it is not good enough, then we will have to go away and work harder again."

England, heartened by the performance of an under-strength side last week, have kept faith with most of the forwards but have injected more experience into the backs to feed Tuilagi.

Danny Care and Owen Farrell shape up as more decisive halves while Billy Twelvetrees and Luther Burrell provide bulk and experience in the centres.

This puts pressure on Ma'a Nonu to sharpen his game after being subbed early in Auckland, leaving Lancaster to prepare Tuilagi to be ready for when the All Blacks bolster their midfield by injecting Savea into the plays.

"I'm sure there will be occasions when Manu and Julian come across each other. Both teams will use Manu or Savea off the wing. Savea will definitely pose a threat through the midfield, as will Manu," he said.

In the All Blacks last two matches they have won the contest in the last five minutes so Lancaster has named a strong bench to ensure England finish strongly as last week they lost the match in the last three minutes.

Interestingly England have all three of their matches at the Forsyth Barr Stadium while the All Blacks have won both of their two matches at the venue. England will therefore go into the match with a better record at the venue than the home side.

As New Zealand won the first Test a victory this weekend will make them the three test series winner.

Last 12 results
07 Jun 2014 New Zealand v England 20-15 Eden Park, Auckland
16 Nov 2013 New Zealand v England 30-22 Twickenham, London
01 Dec 2012 New Zealand v England 21-38 Twickenham, London
06 Nov 2010 New Zealand v England 26-16 Twickenham, London
21 Nov 2009 New Zealand v England 19-6 Twickenham, London
29 Nov 2008 New Zealand v England 32-6 Twickenham, London
21 Jun 2008 New Zealand v England 44-12 Jade Stadium, Christchurch
14 Jun 2008 New Zealand v England 37-20 Eden Park, Auckland
05 Nov 2006 New Zealand v England 41-20 Twickenham, London
19 Nov 2005 New Zealand v England 23-19Twickenham, London
1 9 Jun 2004 New Zealand v England 36-12 Eden Park, Auckland
12 Jun 2004 New Zealand v England 36-3 Carisbrook, Dunedin

Match Officials.
: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Jérôme Garcès (France)
Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Victor Vito, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa.


15 Mike Brown, 14 Manu Tuilagi, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Danny Care, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Joe Marler.

Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Chris Ashton.

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