England: RFU will have to agree finances with Premiership clubs over NZ match

New Zealand
England could beat New Zealand's record of 18 consecutive victories

The Rugby Football Union will have to agree a financial settlement with the Premiership clubs before arranging a fixture with world champions New Zealand this November.

The RFU has opened negotiations over a match in the autumn, which would be outside the international window.

It is understood the Premiership clubs would have to give permission for the release of their players.

The match is not a formal part of the £225m agreement with the RFU.

Premiership Rugby said on Wednesday they had yet to be consulted regarding the fixture.

"We haven't been asked for our support," said a spokesman. "We will need to understand the detail of the proposal before responding."

The RFU confirmed on Wednesday that it was looking into arranging an "out-of-window" match this year - the top two sides in the world are not due to meet until the autumn of 2018.

However, the RFU is understood to be interested in a fixture this November, despite the fact the schedule has already been finalised with England playing Argentina, Australia and Samoa in the Autumn Tests.

The match could take place if various obstacles, such as the distribution of match-day revenues, can be overcome, while the New Zealand Rugby Union will also demand a significant financial share before committing to the fixture.

Meanwhile the All Blacks are pencilled in to face the Barbarians on 4 November.

"We are playing New Zealand in 2018," said an RFU spokesperson.

"If there is an opportunity for us to play NZ before then - ie this year - then we will pursue that opportunity."

Eddie Jones' England will surpass New Zealand's record record of 18 consecutive victories if they beat Ireland in the Six Nations on Sunday.

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