Tag Archives: autumn

Racing tips for Aintree day one by Peter Scudamore and Sam Turner

Countrywide Flame can light up Aintree… Sportsmail's experts dissect day one

By
Sam Turner and Peter Scudamore

PUBLISHED:

21:04 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:04 GMT, 3 April 2013

The decision to switch the John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle to the opening day of the National meeting looks a smart move as the track is rewarded with a tremendous renewal.

Countrywide Flame (Aintree, 3.05), Zarkandar and Grandouet represent the Champion Hurdle form, while star novice The New One, a classy winner of the Neptune Investments Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, adds further glamour.

The celebrated quartet are supplemented by Oscar Whisky and Thousand Stars, first and second in both the last two renewals, to give the contest even further depth.

In form: Countrywide Flame will be suited to the step up in trip Aintree provides

In form: Countrywide Flame will be suited to the step up in trip Aintree provides

This lofty level of competition means selecting a winner is anything but straightforward.

However, Countrywide Flame did enough at Cheltenham to suggest he can mix it at this level and the step up in trip should suit a horse who was narrowly denied in the marathon Flat handicap, The Cesarewitch, last autumn.

I like the fact that John Quinn’s horses are in rude health, their wellbeing advertised by a Lincoln Handicap win for Levitate at Doncaster on Saturday, and the selection has already run with great credit at today’s venue when a game second to Grumeti in the opener 12 months ago.

Warne (Aintree, 3.40) caught the eye at Fairyhouse with a stylish defeat of Tammys Hill under Mikey Fogarty and could prove the answer to the Fox Hunters’ Chase with the drying going over the National course likely to play to his strengths. He looks to have the touch of class required to win.

Tony Martin enjoyed a wonderful Cheltenham with two winners and Pires (Aintree, next best, 4.15) can strike for the shrewd Irish handler in a warm renewal of the Red Rum Chase.

Hot contest: Zakandar (left) and Countrywide Flame (right) will renew battle in the Aintree Hurdle

Hot contest: Zakandar (left) and Countrywide Flame (right) will renew battle in the Aintree Hurdle

A flat two miles on decent ground are the nine-year-old’s optimum conditions and I’m hoping his ability to travel well off a strong pace before displaying a change of gear are two attributes which come into play this afternoon.

Sixty Something (Aintree, nap, 5.25) is a sporting nap in the finale as he stuck to his task well to score at Market Rasen last time and has a seven-length win over course and distance to his name, courtesy of an easy victory in a hood last October.

SCU'S VIEW – Peter Scudamore's verdict on the 2.30 Aintree Betfred Bowl Chase

Favourites have a poor record in the Betfred Bowl Chase with only one winning in the last 10 years but I still think market leader Silviniaco Conti will be tough to beat.

The seven-year-old, trained by Paul Nicholls, seemed to be going best of all when falling three fences out in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

One to watch: The Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco Conti will be tough to beat in the Betfred Bowl Chase

One to watch: The Paul Nicholls-trained Silviniaco Conti will be tough to beat in the Betfred Bowl Chase

Some had questioned his ability to handle that undulating track — something he clearly did — but his record on flat left-handed tracks this season is three from three.

The unknown is how much the Gold Cup run took out of him but he should have too much speed for Gold Cup fourth and fifth, The Giant Bolster and Cape Tribulation.

Quito De La Roque commands respect as a novice winner here at the 2011 meeting who is fresh having by-passed the Cheltenham Festival. He may be more of a threat than fellow Irish raider Flight Lieutenant, the Ryanair Chase runner-up.

Michael Owen wanted by Strictly Come Dancing and I"m a Celebrity

Race to sign Owen hots up – but it's Strictly and I'm a Celebrity doing battle!

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

12:27 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:12 GMT, 3 April 2013

Michael Owen may have failed his screen test to head BT Sport’s new analysis team — but the BBC and ITV are still in a fight to sign him up.

It has been reported that the Stoke striker, who has recently announced he will retire at the end of the season, is at the centre of TV battle between the makers of Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity.

Both networks are apparently trying to sign for the autumn series of both shows.

Dancefloor or jungle How Owen might look on Strictly (left) and I'm a Celebrity

Dancefloor or jungle How Owen might look on Strictly (left) and I'm a Celebrity

In demand: The clamour to sign up Owen is in full swing

In demand: The clamour to sign up Owen is in full swing

Retiring: The former England striker, now at Stoke, will call it a day next month

Retiring: The former England striker, now at Stoke, will call it a day next month

Owen is to become a BBC television and radio pundit in his retirement, having made occasional appearances on Match of the Day already this season.

BT Sport, who need a marquee signing from the dressing room to head the analysts team for their Premier League coverage next season, could have been expected to jump at the chance to sign such an illustrious footballer as Owen, whose services have been strongly touted to them.

But the word inside BT headquarters in the Olympic Park is that Owen’s ‘monotone’ displays on the BBC have been considered ‘poor’, although it will help Owen’s Beeb future that their lead presenter Gary Lineker has been supportive.

The first confirmed pundit appointment
for Owen is at Royal Ascot. Racehorse owner and breeder Owen is on a
panel of experts who will be giving tips to the 570-a-head patrons of
the prime Bessborough Restaurant on the Thursday of the Royal meeting in
June.

Owen is also planning to launch a player agency business when he retires from professional football at the end of this season.

Frozen out: Owen has had limited first-team opportunities at Stoke

Frozen out: Owen has had limited first-team opportunities at Stoke

Stoke City centre forward Owen, who has previously starred for Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United, will hang up his boots at the end of his season, bringing the curtain down on a difficult few years in which he has sustained several serious injuries that have chronically limited his game-time.

In a blog on his website former England man Owen explained: ‘On July 1, I propose to set up Michael Owen Management Ltd. focusing on guiding young players through their careers and offering them advice at every juncture of what can be a career full of pitfalls.’

Six Nations 2013: venue guide

Six Nations venue guide: A look at the stadiums playing host to this year's Championship

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

12:10 GMT, 28 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 1 February 2013

The Six Nations kicks off in February and ahead of the annual feast of rugby Sportsmail runs through the venues that will host this year's games.

TWICKENHAM – LONDON

A capacity of 82,000 identifies the home of England as the world's largest rugby-dedicated venue and the nation's second-largest stadium behind Wembley. When England are winning there are few more rousing places to be – witness the atmosphere against New Zealand last autumn for example – but long spells of quiet can often dampen the occasion. Travelling there can be hellish as the roads become gridlocked while the all-too-infrequent rail service can see trains become horribly overcrowded.

HQ: England's Twickenham Stadium in Surrey

STADE DE FRANCE – PARIS

Just pipped by Twickenham in capacity terms, the 81,338 seater Stade de France was built for the 1998 football World Cup and remains an impressive sight within the unwelcoming district of Saint-Denis, where it is inadvisable to linger after dark. Seasoned Les Bleus supporters still yearn for the more gladiatorial Parc des Princes, the previous home of French rugby, not least because of some poor results at the Stade de France.

General view of the Stade de France in St Denis,Paris.  Mandatory Credit: David Rogers /Allsport Z0111169

AVIVA STADIUM – DUBLIN

Ever since returning to their revamped home, Ireland have spoken of the need to turn Aviva Stadium into a fortress but it has proved an uncomfortable relationship so far after losing seven of their 13 games there. A superb, modern venue, the 51,700 ground is among the finest rugby stadia in the world and access is relatively painless partly thanks to the battalions of available taxis. The atmosphere can be eerily silent, however, and contrast markedly with the noise generated at Irish provincial games.

Aviva Stadium

STADIO OLIMPICO – ROME

Italian rugby has a new home while work continues on the Stadio Flaminio, with the 82,000 capacity Stadio Olimpico proving a superb addition to the list of Six Nations stadia. More traditionally known as the home of Lazio and Roma football clubs, it is one of Italy's most cherished sporting venues and was home to the 1960 Rome Olympics. A running track surrounds the pitch and this affects the atmosphere.

Stadio Olimpico

MURRAYFIELD – EDINBURGH

The declining fortunes of Scottish rugby are evident at Murrayfield, where a dwindling number of spectators turn out to watch a team that has suffered like no other amid the transition to professionalism. Located in the west of the Scottish capital, the superb 67,130 stadium is capable of generating some rousing atmospheres – if only those attending were given something to celebrate on a regular basis once again.

Murrayfield

MILLENNIUM STADIUM – CARDIFF

The finest rugby stadium in the world An argument could certainly be made for what many regard as the jewel in the Six Nations' crown. Brilliantly designed and situated in the heart of Cardiff, it is a spectacular centre-piece for Welsh rugby that can take noise levels to a new dimension. When Wales are firing, it becomes an inspiring venue. The only negative is the difficulty getting out of the city – by car or train – after a match.

Millennium Stadium

Toby Flood not fazed by threat to England place

Flood not fazed by threat to England place with No 10 ready to return for Leicester

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 19 December 2012

England fly-half Toby Flood insists he is not worried by the increasing competition for his international place.

Flood is fit to play for Leicester after overcoming a toe injury sustained in England’s defeat by South Africa last month.

Owen Farrell and Freddie Burns were impressive in his absence against New Zealand but Flood is not fazed.

Blow: Toby Flood missed England's triumph over the All Blacks with injury

Blow: Toby Flood missed England's triumph over the All Blacks with injury

‘I’m not fussed about it. It’s the way it goes. It seemed like a good one (the All Blacks match) to miss in terms of the way they were playing,’ he joked. ‘But credit to the lads, the way they finished off was very impressive. I just want to get back.’

Flood, who started England’s first three autumn matches, looks set to regain his Leicester place ahead of England Under 20 fly-half George Ford for the Aviva Premiership match at London Irish on Saturday.

A goal-kicking record of nearly 79 per cent this season makes Flood Leicester’s No 1, despite the promise of Ford, whose accuracy is only around 59 per cent. Leicester also hope to have England flanker Tom Croft back on duty over the holiday period.

He has been pencilled in for a comeback in the home game against Gloucester on December 29.

Croft has not played since April because of a neck injury and his comeback will be carefully managed. ‘It’s a matter of getting his confidence back,’ said Leicester’s director of rugby Richard Cockerill.

Tommy Bowe injury blow for Ireland Six Nations campaign

Bowe major doubt for Ireland's Six Nations campaign after damaging knee ligaments

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UPDATED:

16:35 GMT, 16 December 2012

Tommy Bowe is a major fitness doubt for Ireland's RBS 6 Nations campaign this season.

The Ulster wing suffered what his province have described as 'significant lateral ligament damage' to his right knee during Friday night's Heineken Cup home defeat against Northampton.

Bowe was carried off late in the second half at Ravenhill following a lengthy stoppage, and Ulster supporters chanted his name as he was taken away.

Crocked: Bowe is stretchered off at Ravenhill on Saturday

Crocked: Bowe is stretchered off at Ravenhill on Saturday

In a statement issued on Sunday, Ulster said: 'An initial scan this morning revealed that he has sustained significant lateral ligament damage to his right knee.

'He will undergo surgery later this week to repair the damage.

'At this stage, it is not possible to put a timescale on how long his recovery period will be.

'A further update on this will be issued following the surgery, when the full extent of the injury will be known.'

Ireland kick off this season's Six Nations tournament against defending champion Wales in Cardiff on February 2.

Star man: Bowe is a key member of the Ireland team

Star man: Bowe is a key member of the Ireland team

Bowe, whose prospects of touring Australia with the British and Irish Lions could conceivably be jeopardised by his current injury, is an integral part of Ireland coach Declan Kidney's plans.

The 28-year-old former Ospreys player has scored 26 tries in 51 Tests, and he is rated among the deadliest finishers in European rugby.

He started all three Tests for the 2009 Lions in South Africa, the final Test at outside centre when the Lions won in Johannesburg.

Ireland's season has been badly-affected by injuries, with Brian O'Driscoll, Paul O'Connell, Rory Best, Stephen Ferris and Sean O'Brien all missing the entire autumn series last month.

Joe Launchbury in provisional Lions squad for Australia tour

From Sainsbury's to Sydney: Former shelf-stacker Launchbury in provisional Lions squad for Australia tour

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UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 13 December 2012

Joe Launchbury is on course to complete a remarkable transition from part-time player and super-market shelf-stacker to the pinnacle of British and Irish rugby after being included in a provisional Lions squad.

The 21-year-old Wasps lock, who was playing for Worthing and working at Sainsbury’s just two years ago, is among a host of England players whose demolition of the All Blacks has forced them into prime contention for next summer’s tour of Australia.

On the eve of Wednesday’s unveiling of the coaching staff for the 2013 crusade, Warren Gatland met his assistants, Andy Farrell, Rob Howley and Graham Rowntree, to draw up a first-draft squad for the tour, overlooking players who are injured.

Rising star: 21-year-old Launchbury was in fine form during England's win over New Zealand at Twickenham

Rising star: 21-year-old Launchbury was in fine form during England's win over New Zealand at Twickenham

Rowntree revealed that the group spent at least an hour discussing back-row permutations alone. But a theme which emerged was that the English contingent, which had previously been predicted to be very small, had been enhanced considerably by the upset win against New Zealand at Twickenham 13 days ago. ‘You have glaring performances in teams who have gone well at the end of the autumn series,’ said Rowntree. ‘That All Blacks game threw up a few names – some guys with only a couple of caps.'

One such rookie is Launchbury, who has four caps, two of them as a starter. Another Test novice now potentially in contention based on his autumn exploits is Leicester hooker Tom Youngs, while other more established English candidates such as Tom Wood, Manu Tuilagi, Alex Goode, Geoff Parling and Owen Farrell enhanced their Lions cases.

Late last month, Gatland had appeared to dismiss England captain Chris Robshaw as a bona fide international openside flanker, saying he intended to take specialist No 7s to Australia.

Yet, in light of the shock success against the world champions, the Kiwi had a more positive message for the Harlequins skipper. ‘What England did against the All Blacks was bring an intensity, an aggression, almost a violent attitude to the breakdown we hadn’t seen from them in earlier games,’ he said. ‘Chris Robshaw was definitely a part of that.’

With Farrell and Rowntree having been drafted for Lions coaching duties, Stuart Lancaster will have to find temporary replacements for England’s summer tour of Argentina.

Candidate: Hooker Tom Youngs has also forced himself into contention for a place in the Lions squad

Candidate: Hooker Tom Youngs has also forced himself into contention for a place in the Lions squad

The simple solution would be to name in-house deputies such as Simon Hardy and Jon Callard. However, strong candidates exist within the Aviva Premiership, among them the young Saracens pair, Paul Gustard and Alex Sanderson.

Despite Saracens’ experience with Farrell, when an agreement to release him to England temporarily led to his permanent move to the RFU, the club are open to another Union approach.

‘England could do a lot worse than look at Paul and Alex,’ said the club’s chief executive Edward Griffiths. ‘They are extremely talented young coaches.

Off to Oz: England coach Stuart Lancaster will have to replace Graham Rowntree (above)

Off to Oz: England coach Stuart Lancaster will have to replace Graham Rowntree (above) and Andy Farrell for the summer tour of Argentina as the pair are on Lions duty

‘If the opportunity arises, we wouldn’t stand in their way. We didn’t stand in the way of Andy Farrell, either. We don’t regard the RFU as competition, but an issue might arise if other clubs object to the idea of a coach or coaches from the Premiership being seconded to the England team.

Historically, there has been a concern among clubs that if someone is coaching England, they might gain an insight into players from other clubs which would give them an unfair advantage.

‘That issue arose when Andy was seconded for the Six Nations last season. As a club we wouldn’t have a problem with coaches from any other clubs being involved with England, but Premiership Rugby would have to make a decision about it and we would abide by that.’

Sam Tomkins and Kevin Sinfield shortlisted for Golden Boot award

Tomkins and Sinfield hoping to end British drought in Golden Boot award

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 10 December 2012

England internationals Sam Tomkins and Kevin Sinfield have been nominated for the 2012 Golden Boot.

Wigan full-back Tomkins won the 2012 Man of Steel award and became England's record tryscorer while Sinfield captained Leeds to a sixth Grand Final triumph and led England to victory in the autumn international series.

The last British winner of the most prestigious individual award in rugby league was former Wigan and England captain Andrew Farrell in 2004.

Sam Tomkins

Kevin Sinfield

Years to remember: Sam Tomkins (left) and Kevin Sinfield (right)

Others shortlisted for the award, which will be announced on January 4, are Australia captain Cameron Smith, his Melbourne Storm team-mate Cooper Cronk, Canterbury full-back Ben Barba and Gold Coast forward Nate Myles.

Wales 12 Australia 14 match report

Wales 12 Australia 14: Nightmare autumn ends with late Beale blow as Wallabies nick victory at the death

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UPDATED:

17:31 GMT, 1 December 2012

Wales were condemned to an autumn series whitewash after Australia fly-half Kurtley Beale broke their hearts at the Millennium Stadium.

Beale scored a try with 26 seconds left to deny Wales victory and drop them outside the world's top eight teams ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup pool draw in London on Monday.

Leigh Halfpenny looked as though he had done enough in terms of claiming a priceless victory with four penalties, but Beale, who had earlier claimed a penalty hat-trick had other ideas.

Diving over: Kurtley Beale crashes home for the decisive late try

Diving over: Kurtley Beale crashes home for the decisive late try

Diving over: Kurtley Beale crashes home for the decisive late try
Match facts

Wales: Halfpenny; Cuthbert, Davies, Roberts, Williams; Priestland, Phillips; Jenkins, Rees (Owens 66), Andrews, Reed, Charteris (R Jones ht), Shingler, Warburton (capt), Faletau (Tipuric 66).

Pens: Halfpenny 4

Australia: Barnes; Cummins (Ioane 48), Ashley-Cooper, Tapuai (Harris 59), Mitchell; Beale, Phipps; Robinson (Slipper 61), Nau (Moore ht), Alexander (Kepu 67), Douglas (Hooper 52), Sharpe, Higginbotham ( Dennis 16) ,Pocock, Palu.

Try: Beale

Pens: Beale 3

Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)

Wales have now lost seven Tests in succession, eight on the bounce to Australia and they will be a tier three nation for the World Cup draw, potentially meaning a group of punishing proportions.

Wales produced their best display of
the autumn in head coach Warren Gatland's last game at the helm before
he begins full-time preparations for heading up next summer's British
and Irish Lions tour to Australia.

And his players almost did enough to
give him a quality send-off, but they could not keep Beale quiet during
the frantic closing stages, with the game ending when Halfpenny was
carried away on a stretcher before Wallabies skipper Nathan Sharpe
attempted the final conversion in his last game before retirement.

Several Wales players stepped up to
the mark, including Halfpenny, centre Jamie Roberts and fly-half Rhys
Priestland, who had his best game of a calendar year that had mostly
seen him struggle for confidence.

Powerhouse: Wales' Alex Cuthbert is tackled by Berrick Barnes and Ben Tapuai

Powerhouse: Wales' Alex Cuthbert is tackled by Berrick Barnes and Ben Tapuai

Flying in: Liam Williams is tackled by Adam Ashley-Cooper at the Millennium Stadium

Flying in: Liam Williams is tackled by Adam Ashley-Cooper at the Millennium Stadium

The overwhelming majority of a 58,000 crowd were not bothered by what had been a tryless affair until the final seconds.

Today was all about Wales rediscovering a winning formula, and they went agonisingly close to achieving it.

Wales, under interim head coach Rob
Howley's direction, will begin their RBS 6 Nations title defence against
Ireland in Cardiff on February 2, and it is a game that they can now at
least look forward to with confidence, despite the Wallabies loss.

Wales suffered a second-row injury
blow inside two minutes against New Zealand last weekend when Bradley
Davies was floored off the ball by All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore. This
time around, it was barely three minutes before a lock needed treatment.

Luke Charteris took a hefty blow to
his shoulder and head while attempting a tackle on Wallabies flanker
Scott Higginbotham, and Ryan Jones took over from the Perpignan forward,
who was helped off before returning shortly afterwards.

Saviour: Australia's Wycliff Palu dives to save a certain try from Toby Faletau

Saviour: Australia's Wycliff Palu dives to save a certain try from Toby Faletau

No way through: Wales forward Aaron Shingler runs into the Wallabies defence

No way through: Wales forward Aaron Shingler runs into the Wallabies defence

Beale, meanwhile, missed an early
penalty chance for the visitors, and it took Wales almost eight minutes
to relieve pressure in or around their own 22.

Wales finally stirred when they
ambitiously ran the ball from behind their own line and wing Alex
Cuthbert sprinted 60 metres before he was tackled into touch by
Wallabies full-back Berrick Barnes.

Even though their sense of adventure
had been suppressed by Barnes' quality defensive work, Wales at least
looked in the mood to produce some quality attacking rugby.

Beale, though, booted a 50-metre
penalty to open the scoring, before Halfpenny struck an equalising kick
from two metres inside his own half.

It meant ended the opening quarter
ended 3-3, but Wales continued to increase the tempo following an
uncertain beginning, and Halfpenny's second successful penalty rewarded
rewarded impressive work by a pumped-up pack.

Halfpenny, comfortably Wales' most consistent player of the autumn, then ran aggressively from deep to set up a scoring chance.

That's mine: Dave Dennis beats Shingler in a lineout

Take that: Sam Warburton tackles David Pocock

That's mine: Dave Dennis beats Shingler in a lineout (left) and Sam Warburton takes down David Pocock

Battle: Australia's wing Drew Mitchell is thwarted by Mike Phillips

Battle: Australia's wing Drew Mitchell is thwarted by Mike Phillips

Leigh Halfpenny

Kurtley Beale

Kicking game: Leigh Halfpenny (left) and Kurtley Beale traded penalties in Cardiff

His kick into space bounced behind
Australia's line, but Wallabies number eight Wycliff Palu just nudged
out Wales captain Sam Warburton in a desperate scramble for the ball.

Australia responded to that hairline
escape when another long-range Beale penalty tied it up at 6-6 as both
sides continued sparring away at each other in search of an opening.

Palu was then fortunate to escape a
yellow card after a high tackle on Wales hooker Matthew Rees, and the
home side continued to look most likely in terms of breaking the try
deadlock.

But a third Beale penalty put
Australia three points in front after Roberts was punished for not
rolling away in the tackle, and Halfpenny missed a penalty with the
half's final kick.

Charteris failed to appear for the
second period, with Jones going on as a permanent replacement and Aaron
Shingler moving up to second-row duties that he filled so impressively
last weekend.

No escape: Mike Phillips tackles Beale in the tight clash in Wales

No escape: Mike Phillips tackles Beale in the tight clash in Wales

Australia looked to move possession
wide early in the second period, and Wales were stretched at times. They
also needed Lady Luck on their side when Barnes ignored a three-man
attacking overlap by kicking instead.

A third Halfpenny strike tied the
game up again after 54 minutes, and then he restored Wales' advantage
six minutes later to set up an intriguing finale.

From then on, it was a case of Wales
attempting to close down the game and give Gatland only his second
victory against Australia, New Zealand or South Africa in 21 Tests since
he took charge five years ago.

But it was not to be as Australia celebrated and Wales once again were left wondering what might have been.

England 38 New Zealand 21 match report: Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi secure victory

England 38 New Zealand 21: Sensational display of character sees Lancaster's men turn their autumn around

PUBLISHED:

16:19 GMT, 1 December 2012

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UPDATED:

18:46 GMT, 1 December 2012

England's young men came of age at Twickenham with a sensational record-breaking victory over world champions New Zealand.

Owen Farrell kicked England into a 15-0 lead before the All Blacks hit back with two tries in three second-half minutes from Julian Savea and Kieran Read.

Twickenham sensed the worst. The All Blacks had found their cutting edge and a third consecutive defeat to southern hemisphere opposition seemed in the offing.

But England responded with a stunning three-try blitz from Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi and the records tumbled.

Showmanship: Manu Tuilagi made two tries and scored one

Showmanship: Manu Tuilagi made two tries and scored one

Flying high: Chris Ashton goes over in typically exuberant fashion

Flying high: Chris Ashton goes over in typically exuberant fashion

Over: Ashton
England's records

England's previous biggest win over New Zealand was 13-0 at Twickenham in January, 1936.

England's previous highest score against New Zealand was the 31 points they scored in a 31-28 victory at Twickenham in November, 2002.

Only once in 498 Tests had New Zealand been beaten by a bigger margin – 28-7 against Australia in August, 1999.

England's last victory over New Zealand was 15-13 in Wellington in June, 2003.

England had not beaten New Zealand in their previous nine matches before this game.

New Zealand were unbeaten in their 20 Tests (19 victories and one draw) before this game.

New Zealand had not lost a Test to European opposition on an autumn tour since the 31-28 defeat to England in November, 2002.

The All Blacks had not lost in 20
matches. They had not lost an autumn Test for a decade, since England
beat them 31-18 in November 2002.

That England team went on to win the
Rugby World Cup a year later. Stuart Lancaster's current England team
are at the opposite end of their development.

The absence of Toby Flood through
injury left them without a single 50-cap player. England had fewer caps
in their entire starting line-up than New Zealand had in their front
row.

The team's character had never been
denied but their maturity and ability to turn positive performances into
results had been questioned after narrow defeats to Australia and South
Africa.

No longer. England rocked the All
Blacks. New Zealand were hit by a vomiting bug in the week. But not as
hard as they were hit by England.

The first signs of England's physical
dominance came in the lineout and with their early ball-carrying, with
Joe Launchbury, Tom Youngs and Tuilagi all making early ground.

But it was without the ball that
England really set the tone. Their kick-chase had the All Blacks under
pressure and they swamped New Zealand in defence.

On the charge: Brad Barritt breaks away before going over for England's first try

On the charge: Brad Barritt breaks away before going over for England's first try

On the charge: Brad Barritt breaks away before going over for England's first try

England had a slice of fortune when
Cory Jane was judged to have strayed marginally offside before
collecting Dan Carter's inch-perfect cross-kick.

Carter, almost inexplicably, also
missed two penalty shots at goal. England felt they had not had that
bounce of the ball against Australia and South Africa. Today they made
the most of it.

After 21 minutes, England won a scrum
penalty and Farrell kicked a fantastic touch, to move play into the All
Blacks 22 for the first time and Geoff Parling won a confident lineout.

England drove powerfully but fell
foul of the new five-second law after referee George Clancy, under the
mistaken impression the maul had halted, called on scrum-half Ben Youngs
to use it.

Setting nerves jangling: Kieran Read went on the charge for the All Blacks' second try

Setting nerves jangling: Kieran Read went on the charge for the All Blacks' second try

New Zealand were awarded the scrum
but England kept the pressure on. Tom Wood charged down Savea's
clearance to keep England in the All Blacks 22 and more pressure earned
another lineout.

Ben Morgan peeled off the driving
maul, Chris Robshaw crashed the ball up the middle and England moved it
wide through Morgan and Alex Goode to Ashton.

The wing dropped the ball but he was
well covered anyway and referee Clancy brought play back for a penalty,
which Farrell kicked confidently to push England ahead.

Almost immediately from the restart,
Morgan was penalised for hitting a ruck from the side but Carter missed
his second shot at goal from virtually in front of the posts.

On the charge: Julian Savea scores the first of his two tries to give New Zealand a foothold after half-time

On the charge: Julian Savea scores the first of his two tries to give New Zealand a foothold after half-time

New Zealand began to work through the
phases but England's white defensive wall responded with some ferocious
tackles, notably Tom Youngs on Carter, before Dan Cole won a turnover.

Israel Dagg tried to run back a Ben
Youngs box kick but he was smothered in his own half by Launchbury and
Wood, who won the penalty and Farrell coolly kicked the goal.

Keven Mealamu then overthrew a
lineout and England were back on the attack, with Tuilagi and Goode
combining to break the gain-line before Farrell slotted a drop-goal.

As the clock ticked down to
half-time, England kept the ball. Robshaw drove around the fringes, the
All Blacks were drawn offside and Farrell slotted his third penalty.

Metronomic: Owen Farrell's right boot accounted for 20 points

Metronomic: Owen Farrell's right boot accounted for 20 points

England then extended their lead
beyond two converted tries when the All Blacks scrum went down and
Farrell landed his fourth penalty from wide on the right.

But when Farrell scragged Aaron Smith at a ruck near England's line and was penalised, the tide appeared to have turned.

New Zealand went for touch, won the
lineout and then spread play to the opposite wing where Savea cut
infield and beat four defenders to score, with Carter converting.

Suddenly, the All Blacks had their
tails up. Farrell was under pressure as he tried to clear England's
lines and he failed to find touch.

Clearing his lines: Ma'a Nonu kicks under pressure Owen Farrell

Clearing his lines: Ma'a Nonu kicks under pressure Owen Farrell

Dagg danced down the right touchline,
England's defence was disorganised and the All Blacks cut them open
again with Jane and Conrad Smith combining to send Read over.

England could have wobbled under the
onslaught of two tries in three minutes. Instead, they hit back with a
vengeance with Tuilagi the destroyer in-chief.

Smith drifted too early in defence,
Barritt straightened through the gap and passed to Tuilagi before
receiving the offload back to score his first Test try. Farrell's
conversion hit the crossbar.

Tuilagi then crashed through two
defenders as England attacked from clean lineout ball and his
perfectly-delayed pass sent Ashton searing over the line for his first
try in 12 Tests.

Under pressure: England were 12-0 up at half-time, the first time New Zealand have failed to score before the break since 1998

Under pressure: England were 12-0 up at half-time, the first time New Zealand have failed to score before the break since 1998

Tuilagi then picked off a loose pass
from Read and galloped 50 metres for England's third try in eight
minutes, which Farrell converted before being replaced by Freddie Burns.

The Gloucester fly-half wrapped up the victory with two penalties.

Savea scored his second try with five
minutes remaining but nothing could deny England their first win
against New Zealand in nine years.

Wales team to play Australia at Millennium Stadium

Gatland shuffles pack as Wales look to make it lucky No 7 against Wallabies

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UPDATED:

13:20 GMT, 29 November 2012

A wounded Wales team will face Australia with a reshuffled pack for the final clash of their autumn series.

They have made four changes to the side that were beaten convincingly by New Zealand last weekend. But with fourteen first-team players unavailable through either injury or absence, head coach Warren Gatland had his hand tied when it came to make big changes, despite his side falling to their sixth successive defeat against the All Blacks.

George North has failed to shrug off a hip injury picked up in training last week, and Bradley Davies is still suffering from the effects of severe concussion after he was struck off the ball by All Black Andrew Hore in the second minute on Saturday.

Well beaten: Wales have lost six in a row

Well beaten: Wales have lost six in a row

In the front row Blues prop Scott Andrews is handed his second Wales start and he is joined by former Blues colleague and 93-times capped veteran prop Gethin Jenkins, who has been granted permission to play by his French club Toulon.

Elsewhere Ospreys lock Ian Evans completes his return from injury (knee) to replace Bradley Davies and Scarlets flanker Aaron Shingler replaces another Osprey, Ryan Jones, in the back row – with Jones retained on the bench.

The same backline which started against New Zealand last time out is selected, with Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar coming in for another player returning to his club, Perpignan’s James Hook, in one change to the backs cover provided by the bench.

Starting role: Jenkins (left) has been given permission by Toulon to play

Starting role: Jenkins (left) has been given permission by Toulon to play

Wales team to play Australia on Saturday:

Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts,
Liam Williams; Rhys Priestland, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Matthew
Rees, Scott Andrews; Ian Evans, Luke Charteris; Aaron Shingler, Sam
Warburton (captain), Toby Faletau.

REPLACEMENTS: Ken Owens, Ryan Bevington, Samson Lee, Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric, Tavis Knoyle, Dan Biggar, Scott Williams.

'We need to pick up again where we left off in the second half last week,' said Gatland. 'We managed to retain 73 per cent possession after the break against the All Blacks and win the territory battle, and we need to put Australia under similar pressure from the outset.

'We have played them regularly over the last couple of years and have come close to winning on a number of occasions, but have not quite been able to get ourselves over the chalk of the finish line.

'Both sides have had injuries to cope with, but there is every reason for optimism. The Millennium Stadium crowd will be in full voice again, they were outstanding last week, and we are aiming to reach the end of a tough series on Saturday and finish off on a high.'