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Page last updated at 06:59 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 07:59 UK

England change date for autumn Test against All Blacks

England lost 19-6 to New Zealand
England lost 19-6 to New Zealand when the sides met last November

England have changed their autumn international schedule, with Martin Johnson's men now taking on New Zealand in the first game on 6 November.

The game was originally set for 4 December but was switched following a request from the All Blacks.

England will then play Australia, Samoa and world champions South Africa on successive Saturdays at Twickenham.

Premier Rugby and the Professional Game Board have approved the move and agreed to alter the player-release period.

The revised autumn schedule also means that South Africa's game against the Barbarians will now be played on 4 December, a day earlier than previously scheduled.

606: DEBATE

"We're delighted that Premier Rugby Limited and the Professional Game Board have approved the change which completes a superb series of games," said Rugby Football Union business operations director Paul Vaughan.

"Five consecutive Saturday games all kicking off at 2.30pm will be good for our supporters, our broadcast partners and the game as a whole."

England and New Zealand last met in November, with the All Blacks winning 19-6.

Confirmation of the All Blacks game means that New Zealand will now play all four of the home nations this autumn.

New Zealand has attempted the 'grand slam' on nine occasions and achieved it three times - in 1978, 2005 and 2008.

They play Scotland on 13 November before games against Ireland and Wales.

Prior to the autumn schedule, England, who finished third in the recent Six Nations after winning tow of their five matches, have confirmed a summer tour featuring two Tests against Australia as well as matches with Australian Barbarians and New Zealand Maoris.


AUTUMN INTERNATIONALS SCHEDULE

6 November: v New Zealand (1430 GMT)

13 November: v Australia (1430 GMT)

20 November: v Samoa (1430 GMT)

27 November: v South Africa (1430 GMT)



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see also
Johnson defends his coaching team
24 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Probyn calls for England shake-up
22 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
Johnson sees England improvement
14 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
England line up Australia Tests
18 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
England 6-19 New Zealand
21 Nov 09 |  English


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