England and New Zealand last met in November 2018 with the All Blacks scoring 16 unanswered points to win 16-15. But it could have been so different.
The All Blacks career of exciting winger Nehe Milner-Skudder is all but over after he signed a three-year French club rugby deal.
Toulon has confirmed the 27-year-old’s contract will join them in June next year before their Top 14 campaign, ruling him out of World Cup contention.
A scorer of 12 tries in 13 Tests, he burst onto the international scene in 2015 with his elusive running style and was named World Rugby’s breakthrough player of the year.
His six tries at that year’s World Cup included one in the final win over Australia at Twickenham.
Shoulder injuries and the depth in New Zealand’s outside back stocks have forced Milner-Skudder to settle for sporadic appearances since, including two Tests this year, against Argentina and Japan.
Milner-Skudder joins his former Hurricanes wing partner Julian Savea at Toulon, along with former All Blacks Liam Messam and Malakai Fekitoa.
The announcement comes a day after accomplished New Zealand Test fullback Ben Smith announced he would play at French club Pau following next year’s World Cup.
It’s been widely reported that All Blacks captain Kieran Read will take up a French contract after the global tournament in Japan.