Jones tells his England players to take the lead role this weekend


"It's got no relevance to me at all", said Jones ahead of the first England-New Zealand match in four years. "When I've played in teams that did that previously we've been successful".

England and New Zealand will wear jerseys emblazoned with poppies in commemoration of Armistice Day when they meet at Twickenham on Saturday.

Retallick famously failed to correctly name a single England player when asked during the summer tour to New Zealand in 2014. "You couldn't describe it any other way", said Hansen.

France were even fined for their response before an agonising 8-7 loss to New Zealand in the 2011 World Cup final in Auckland. "That year you can look at it and say the Lions series was a gift because there were a lot of things we didn't do well".

"We have to put our stamp on the game".

"You're expected to win every test match you play and win it really well".

However, Hansen said his men are capable of using that constant state of tension to their advantage.

Now another of English rugby union's most notorious recidivists, Chris Ashton, has re-entered the Test picture, with the same kind of air of the unexpected, with his selection to start in the big Test of the autumn against the world champions, New Zealand, at Twickenham tomorrow.

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"You've got to be reasonably stupid if you can't work out this is going to be big".

"Once you come to realize that life becomes a little easier. There's 80,000 people, it's all over the papers, everyone's talking about it, you can't get a ticket".

Hansen said players new to the set-up "feel it straight away" and admitted the All Blacks' world can be an "overwhelming place", but stressed the key is to talk about it and help players cope with it in their own way.

"For me I think it is a great part of the game (that) we need to keep going".

The way Jones tells it now, having recalled Ashton for a first Test in four years off the bench against South Africa last weekend, is that each time a spot was available, the flame-haired wing from Wigan, via Northampton, Saracens, Toulon and Sale, mucked it up by getting a ban: 10 weeks for an eye-gouge in January 2016; 13 weeks for a bite that September.

When Jones' comments were put to Read at New Zealand's team hotel in London on Friday, he replied: "We do the Haka as a challenge but it is more about us connecting as a team".

England have won just seven matches against the All Blacks since they first met in 1905, but George has taken heart from the way the Lions drew a three-Test series 1-1 past year.

"If he was Sexton then we'd be able to complain about him, but because he's Owen Farrell he's allowed to be hit late". And we're happy to go out there and get stuck into them.