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All Blacks absent from England's 2017 test schedule
December 14, 2016 / 11:50 AM / a year ago

All Blacks absent from England's 2017 test schedule

LONDON (Reuters) - World champions New Zealand will have to wait until at least 2018 to play England after the schedule for next year’s November internationals was released on Wednesday, including tests against Argentina, Australia and Samoa at Twickenham.

France Rugby - France v New Zealand All Blacks - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France, 26/11/2016. New Zealand's lock Brodie Retallick during the warm up. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Unbeaten in 2016 with 14 successive victories, England can hope to surpass the All Blacks record 18-match winning streak that ended last month with a shock 40-29 defeat by Ireland in Chicago.

England begin the defence of the Six Nations title against France at Twickenham on Feb. 4, before playing Wales (Feb. 11), Italy (Feb. 26), Scotland (March 11) and Ireland (March 18).

A second successive Grand Slam triumph would extend their winning run to 19 internationals.

They will play the Barbarians in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup at Twickenham on May 28, the day after the Premiership final and before England fly to Argentina for a two-Test series in June.

The autumn schedule sees England play Argentina at Twickenham stadium (Nov. 11), Australia (Nov. 18) and Samoa (Nov. 25).

  “These block of matches are an important step in our preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan,” said England head coach Eddie Jones.

“We look forward to playing in the 2017 series against three tough opponents in Argentina, Australia and Samoa.”

England beat Argentina and Australia in this season’s four-game autumn series.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris

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