Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks ignore history heading into semi-final

If last week's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland was built up as the latest chapter in a growing rivalry, Saturday's semi is the polar opposite.

The All Blacks have won the last six tests against England, including a narrow 16-15 win at Twickenham last November.

In the enormity of a World Cup semi-final week, the All Blacks are focussing on familiarity - unwilling to change too much to suit the occasion.

"This weekend is just a one-off test match that we need to get right," said All Blacks flanker Sam Cane. "So, we'll be putting everything into it."

History would suggest they'll need to.

Rugby World Cup 2019: All Blacks ignore history heading into semi-final

They were lucky to escape with a one-point win over England on their northern tour last year.

But despite pushing the All Blacks as close as they did, England won't be reflecting on that match ahead of Saturday.

"I think we've improved but they've improved as well," said England assistant coach Neal Hatley. "I don't think we can take a lot from what happened in Autumn. 

"They were missing a few, we were missing a few. It's a whole different situation."

In 66 tests, Cane has never faced England and lock Brodie Retallick's memories are mixed.

He was part of the 2012 side that were humbled by a rampant England team, which featured a rookie Manu Tuilagi.

"The one thing that stands out from that game is the physicality, " said Retallick. "I just remember the physicality at ruck time was huge.

That was the last time England prevailed over the All Blacks. 

Eddie Jones hasn't held back in his compliments for Steve Hansen's side, calling the All Black the "greatest sports team in the world".

"I guess that's nice of him to say but it's not something this team is focussed on. So, good on him."

Join us for live updates of both semi-finals this weekend

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