A dejected Kieran Read said New Zealand could have no complaints after their Rugby World Cup dominance ended with a 19-7 semi-final defeat to England.

England dethroned the All Blacks and replaced them at the top of the rankings with a dominant performance at Yokohama on Saturday, setting up a final against South Africa or Wales.

An early try from Manu Tuilagi, converted by Owen Farrell, and four George Ford penalties ended New Zealand's quest to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for an unprecedented third time in a row.

The defending champions had to wait until 17 minutes into the second half for a gift to Ardie Savea to get on the scoreboard, as they suffered a first World Cup defeat for 12 years.

Sam Underhill and Ben Youngs had tries ruled out in a relentless showing from Eddie Jones' side and captain Read - who will end his Test career with a third-place play-off on Friday - knows New Zealand were not good enough.

"It's pretty hard to put into words what it means. You've got to give England the credit, they came out and started really well and we just couldn't get into the game," said the back-rower.

"We'll look at the game and there'll be so many what ifs and things we could have done a lot better. At a stage like this you can't afford that and it cost us."

Farrell felt a blistering start was key after England had faced down the Haka by forming a V.

"It's a big game. A World Cup semi-final against the All Blacks, this is as big of a game as you can get at this stage, we thought like we'd prepared for the game well and it was all about starting the game well," said the England skipper.

"All these big games, teams get physical, they go at each other from the off. We knew that was going to come our way and we wanted to make sure we could play our game too.

"We've got a number of ways of playing. We've got a big, powerful pack but they can use the ball as well, we want to play to space and we did that well. It's brilliant to get there, brilliant to be a part of and we'll enjoy this win first then make sure we prepare well."

England coach Eddie Jones has hailed his side's defence as their best form of attack after a 19-7 victory over New Zealand ensured their place in the Rugby World Cup final.

Manu Tuilagi's early try paved the way for an exceptional display from England in Yokohama on Saturday, as they ended the All Blacks' chances of winning an unprecedented third World Cup in a row.

Captain Owen Farrell added the extras to Tuilagi's score, with George Ford putting England 10-0 up at half-time and, although New Zealand rallied through Ardie Savea's try, Ford's pinpoint kicking ensured victory.

England will now face either Wales or South Africa in their first World Cup final appearance since 2007 and Jones singled out his side's defensive grit as the key factor in their triumph.

"We're playing a great team, Steve Hansen, a great coach, Kieran Reed's a great captain. We had to dig deep," Jones said.

"We knew we'd have to come off the line and we managed to do that. We caused a few errors, may have had a few lucky bounces and got the result.

"The World Cup is always about defence and our best form of attack is our defence. We create opportunities through our defence to attack.

"Greatest compliments to New Zealand, they've won two World Cups in a row, they're a great team and we really had to dig deep to beat them."

Jones also highlighted the work of his assistants Steve Borthwick and Neal Hatley after England's pack put in a disciplined display.

"If you try to play New Zealand at their game you're going to come off second best," Jones, who is unconcerned by any "favourites" tag ahead of the final, told ITV Sport.

"We probably missed a couple of opportunities to score but I thought the discipline of our performance was great in both attack and defence.

"[The pack] played really well. Steve and Neal do a fantastic job with those forwards, really disciplined.

"We don't bet, we don't look at the bookies, so we're not really concerned [about favourites]. Our expectation is the most important thing."

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen, meanwhile, conceded England were worthy winners, although he insisted the defeat takes nothing away from his side's achievements.

"I'd like to congratulate England, they played a tremendous game of footy and, on the day, they deserved to win the game," he said.

"You can't give them half a step because they'll take it and that's what rugby is about. Well done to them.

"I'm really proud of our team, they've done tremendous graft for our country and we just weren't good enough. We have to take it on the chin, so does everybody back home and our fans."

Manu Tuilagi's early try set the tone as England shattered New Zealand's hopes of winning an unprecedented third consecutive Rugby World Cup and moved into the final with a famous 19-7 victory.

England dominated the out-of-sorts All Blacks at International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday to set up a showdown with South Africa or Wales at the same venue next weekend.

Tuilagi touched down for a try that Owen Farrell converted inside two minutes and George Ford's penalty just before the break put Eddie Jones' inspired side 10-0 up at half-time.

The defending champions never really got going in an error-strewn display and although Ardie Savea's try gave them hope, another three penalties from the excellent Ford kept England in command.

England – who also had tries from Sam Underhill and Ben Youngs ruled out – were lively in attack and outstanding in defence, sealing a first win over New Zealand for seven years and a maiden World Cup triumph over the holders to replace them at the top of the rankings.

New Zealand's first World Cup loss since 2007 ensured there will be no dream swansong for head coach Steve Hansen, while captain Kieran Read will end his stellar Test career with a third-place play-off.

Ian Foster says set-pieces are "where the war's going to be won or lost" when New Zealand and England lock horns in the first Rugby World Cup semi-final on Saturday.

The All Blacks and Eddie Jones' side do battle at International Stadium Yokohama for the right to play South Africa or Wales in the final.

Steve Hansen sprung a surprise by picking Scott Barrett ahead of Sam Cane at blindside flanker in what would appear to be an effort to target the England lineout.

New Zealand assistant coach Foster said the team that gain the edge in lineouts and scrums will have a great chance of progressing.

"The quality of your set-piece is key. And rugby hasn't changed over all the years, with all the different things that have happened to it," said Foster.

"There's a simplicity about it. If you scrum well and line-out well, you've got a good chance."

He added: "It's a tactical battle in itself. That's where the war's going to be won or lost."

Prop Joe Moody is relishing a titanic tussle with a powerful England pack.

"There is a big English forward pack. We know they are going to be pretty direct... we're going to have to be up for it to match fire with fire," he said.

"Should be a big old ding-dong battle."

England have confirmed the schedule for their two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in March.

The first Test will begin on March 19 in Galle, with the second match slated to commence eight days later in Colombo.

Those contests will form part of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.

A three-day warm-up game against a Sri Lanka Cricket Board President's XI in Katunayake will kick the tour off for Joe Root's men on March 7, with another four-day match taking place in Colombo from March 12.

England completed a 3-0 series whitewash on their previous Test tour of Sri Lanka in November 2018.

England sit fifth in the World Test Championship table after the drawn Ashes series against Australia, while Sri Lanka occupy third with four more points.

India are 180 points clear at the top after five victories out of five against West Indies and South Africa.

Courtney Lawes says New Zealand will know exactly who they are up against in the Rugby World Cup semi-final on Saturday after the England lock was mistakenly named as a politician by Brodie Retallick five years ago.

Retallick irked the England camp in 2014 when he replied "Michael Laws" after being asked if he could name any members of Stuart Lancaster's squad.

All Blacks lock Retallick was not impressed when he was reminded of that slip of the tongue this week as the world champions and England prepare to do battle in Yokohama for a place in the final.

England forward Lawes expects New Zealand to be more familiar with their opponents this weekend.

"If they don't know, then they will tomorrow, it's just one of those things mate!" Lawes said on Friday.

"We will just get on with it."

Lawes says Eddie Jones' men are relishing the challenge of trying to prevent the holders from becoming the first team to lift the Webb Ellis Cup three times in a row.

"We're excited," said Lawes. "None of us have played in a semi-final before, it's a challenge but we're very excited to get out there."

He added: "I like to take every game like it is, which is a rugby game, and go out there and enjoy.

"Obviously it's a massive occasion and we want to win, we have to win. But I like to go out there and treat every game like it's your last game."

England and New Zealand face off in a mouth-watering Rugby World Cup semi-final as Eddie Jones' men look to somehow topple the two-time defending champions. 

The All Blacks are aiming to become the first side to win three successive World Cups, but England represent a huge obstacle in their road to history.

For England to defy the odds and reach the final for the first time since 2007, they will need to end a New Zealand winning streak stretching back to that tournament 12 years ago.

Here we take a statistical look at Saturday's mammoth last-four clash in Yokohama.

15 - New Zealand have won 15 of their last 16 matches against England - the exception in that run being a 21-38 defeat at Twickenham in 2012, a game in which Manu Tuilagi and Kieran Read both scored tries.

4 - This will be the fourth Rugby World Cup clash between England and New Zealand. The All Blacks have won each of the previous three (1991, 1995, 1999), including their only knockout encounter which came in the semi-finals of the 1995 tournament in South Africa.

3 - England have won three of their previous four World Cup semi-final matches - the 29-45 loss to New Zealand in 1995 is the exception.

18 - New Zealand have won their past 18 World Cup matches, the longest such run in the tournament's history, last losing a game in the quarter-finals of the 2007 edition against France. Sam Whitelock has played in all 18 of those games and as such holds the individual record for most consecutive wins in World Cup history.

30 - The All Blacks have averaged the most points (51), tries (7.3), metres (642), clean breaks (22), defenders beaten (39) and offloads (17) of any side at the 2019 World Cup. They are also one of four sides yet to lose a scrum on their own feed (30/30).

- Neither England nor New Zealand have conceded a first half try in this tournament so far, the only sides to manage this; both have conceded three tries in the second half.

13 - Owen Farrell (87) needs 13 points to become the second player to reach 100 World Cup points for England after Jonny Wilkinson (277). He has managed that haul in four of his past five starts for England and averages 11.4 points per game in eight previous appearances against New Zealand (including with the British and Irish Lions).

1 - Jonny May needs one try to equal Jason Robinson on 28 tries for England, the joint fifth most for the country. It will be May's 51st match; Robinson won 51 caps for England.

- Maro Itoje has won more turnovers (seven) than any other player at the 2019 World Cup. Ardie Savea (five) is New Zealand's leading exponent in this facet of the game and has indeed won the joint most jackal turnovers of any player (five).

New Zealand will be without captain Kane Williamson for the upcoming Twenty20 series against England due to a right hip injury.

The Black Caps named their squad Friday with skipper Williamson a notable absentee following his withdrawal for the five T20s in New Zealand.

Williamson featured for Northern Districts in the Plunket Shield on Thursday, but a period of rest was agreed for the star batsman – who sits out the reunion with England after his team's heartbreaking super-over defeat in the Cricket World Cup final.

Tim Southee will captain the Black Caps when the series gets underway at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on November 1.

"We've been monitoring the injury for a while now and it's the same issue that ruled him out of the final Test against Bangladesh back in March," said New Zealand head coach Gary Stead.

"It's disappointing timing for Kane at the start of an exciting Kiwi summer, but we feel it's the right decision with a busy season ahead.

"We're fortunate to have someone experienced like Tim who can comfortably step in and take the reins, as he successfully did on the recent tour of Sri Lanka."

Paceman Lockie Ferguson will play in the first three games after returning from a broken thumb, while Trent Boult will take his place for the remaining two fixtures.

"In working with Trent and looking at the season ahead, we feel another four-day game will provide him with the best preparation for the upcoming Test series against England and Australia," added Stead.

After facing England in Christchurch, the series will move to Wellington (November 3), Nelson (November 5), Napier (November 8) and Auckland (November 10) before the first of two Test matches, starting November 21.

 

New Zealand's T20 squad: Tim Southee (c), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner

Steve Hansen wants to ensure New Zealand do not repeat past mistakes by getting caught up in the "euphoria" of a quarter-final triumph when they battle England for a place in the Rugby World Cup showpiece.

Two-time defending champions the All Blacks are the favourites to lift the Webb Ellis Cup once again but must overcome Eddie Jones' side in Yokohama on Saturday to keep their hopes of doing so alive.

New Zealand produced a commanding display to brush aside Ireland, who started the tournament in Japan as the top-ranked side in the world, 46-14 in the last eight.

But Hansen warned against looking beyond a blockbuster semi-final with England, something he feels they have been guilty of in the past.

"Sometimes I think people come off the euphoria of winning the quarter-final, and then they start looking ahead at the final," said Hansen.

"I think that could have been a mistake that we've made in the past. I think we may have even done it in 2007, looking beyond the quarter-final. And when you start looking beyond where you're actually at, then your mind's not where your feet are, and you're vulnerable.

"I think that's probably why they would say it's tough, because you've just come off the euphoria of winning the quarter-final knowing you now have an opportunity, and then you may start looking at that opportunity before you've actually earned the right to look at it."

Jones on Thursday moved away from his apparent attempts at kidology earlier this week, having claimed someone had spied on England training without accusing the All Blacks, of whom he said "the pressure will be chasing them down the street".

England have lost each of their past six Tests against New Zealand and the head coach is relishing the chance to put that right.

"It's going to be a great contest, isn't it? Two heavyweights, one dressed in black, one dressed in white. You couldn't think of a better scenario," said Jones.

"I think it's a great week, it's one of the most exciting weeks in world rugby.

"You get a press conference [with this many people] usually only when you've done something bad.

"We haven't done anything bad yet, so it's an exceptional week for us."

Kieran Read and Jonny May overcame injury concerns to feature in the starting XV for New Zealand and England respectively.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

England - George Ford

Having been dropped to the bench for the quarter-final success over Australia, Ford will want to prove himself after returning to the starting XV as the only change. Jones highlighted the fly-half's impressive work-rate and he will want to deliver on that after replacing captain Owen Farrell, who will start at outside centre, in the number 10 shirt.

New Zealand - Scott Barrett

Hansen too only made one alteration to his line-up, with lock Barrett replacing Sam Cane in the back row. Barrett has never started an All Blacks game at flanker so it will be interesting to see if the coach's tactical decision pays dividends.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- This will be the fourth World Cup clash between England and New Zealand. The All Blacks have won each of the previous three (1991, 1995, 1999) including their only knockout encounter, which came in the semi-finals of the 1995 tournament in South Africa.
- England had just 10 minutes and 34 seconds of possession in their quarter-final victory against Australia, their lowest amount in a game since Opta have recorded this data (2010).
- The All Blacks have averaged the most points (51), tries (7.3), metres (642), clean breaks (22), defenders beaten (39) and offloads (17) of any side at this World Cup.
- Billy Vunipola is in line to win his 50th cap for England. New Zealand are the one side he has yet to beat in an England shirt (L4), notching up victories against each of the other 11 nations he has faced.

Eddie Jones does not think anyone outside the England camp believes they can beat New Zealand in a blockbuster Rugby World Cup semi-final on Saturday.

New Zealand go into the clash in Yokohama two victories away from lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time in succession, but Jones is happy to be the underdog.

The Australian said this week "the pressure will be chasing [the All Blacks] down the street", while his team could play without the burden of expectation.

Although Jones admitted to a degree of anxiety about the clash, he hopes to help his team thrive against the favourites for success in Japan.

"There's always nerves - you're only human - but there's that mixture between being nervous and excited which is the reason you coach," Jones told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"To be involved in a game like this is the most fantastic experience as a coach, and it's what you live for.

"Out of one hundred journalists in the room, as we saw, 97 think New Zealand are going to win.

"The three who put up their hands put them up timidly and hoped no one saw them put up their hands.

"Our 31 players plus 20-odd staff believe we can win, and we're the only people in Japan who believe we can win. We'll take that situation and maximise it."

Jones' men have lost their past six matches against New Zealand but 11 players in the squad for Saturday's match have experience of beating the All Blacks, either in England's 38-21 victory in December 2012 or the British and Irish Lions' second Test success in 2017.

The England boss believes that will hold the team in good stead as they look to cause an upset.

"I think traditionally when you play against New Zealand, the pace and intensity of the game gets you," said Jones.

"If you have experienced that before, you understand what you have got to prepare yourself for, and most of our squad have been involved in those games so we've got great experience.

"They know what New Zealand are going to bring to the game and they have practised this week to be equipped for it.

"We are ready for the game, we've had two-and-a-half years to prepare for this game so we are ready to go."

George Ford will return at fly-half in the only change for England, while Steve Hansen's sole alteration for the All Blacks sees Scott Barrett replace Sam Cane.

Eddie Jones' suggestion that England were spied on ahead of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals was branded "the best clickbait in the world" by New Zealand boss Steve Hansen.

Australian Jones this week said England were aware of someone filming from an apartment near their training base in Chiba, though he did not accuse last-four opponents the All Blacks directly.

Hansen, who named made one change to his line-up for Saturday's match in Yokohama by replacing Sam Cane with Scott Barrett, was unsurprised by the media's reaction.

"Eddie and I both know that all is fair in love and war and there is nothing better in war than throwing a wee distraction out that you guys [the media] can't resist," said Hansen.

"It's the best clickbait in the world: 'Someone's spying on us.' He didn't call at us. He was very deliberate in not doing that.

"He talked about it being somebody else. It was probably the same bloke who videoed us when we were there, but everyone has jumped on it and he's been successful in getting the clickbait.

"He was very particular about what he said, that someone had filmed their training. He said it could have been a supporter. He didn't say New Zealand did it."

Hansen bears Jones no ill will over the comments and revealed the two have since been in touch.

"It's only a mind game if you buy into it. We're not buying into it," said Hansen. "It's allowed us to have a good laugh. I'm chuckling away.

"He’s been in touch with me, but not about spying. I get a text, 'How are you going, Steve?'. 'Pretty good, thanks Eddie.' He's laughing, I'm laughing. You guys are getting what you want because everyone is clicking on the bait."

Jones also claimed that while England can play with freedom in the semi-finals, "the pressure will be chasing [New Zealand] down the street" as they attempt to win the World Cup for a third time in succession.

Hansen replied: "I have talked about pressure since I have been All Blacks coach. Early in our history we probably ran away from it and ... let it chase us down the street.

"These days we acknowledge it's there. We get it every game ... doesn't matter if it's a quarter-final, semi-final or a Test match.

"It would be very naive not to acknowledge [the pressure] to be on both sides."

Lockie Ferguson will make a timely return from injury for a New Zealand XI in two Twenty20 warm-up matches against England.

The paceman has been out of action since suffering a fractured thumb training in Sri Lanka last month.

Ferguson is now fully fit and will face Eoin Morgan's side in a team captained by Colin Munro at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln on Sunday and next Tuesday.

He said: "The thumb has healed well and I'm looking forward to having a hit-out at Lincoln.

"While it's obviously frustrating to be sidelined, it's actually been good to take some time to freshen up and be able to return with plenty of motivation and energy.

"It's the beginning of a really big summer of cricket and it's exciting to be starting it against a quality England side."

A five-match T20 series between the Black Caps and England starts in Christchurch on November 1.

John Mitchell wished New Zealand good luck if they want to spy on England ahead of the Rugby World Cup semi-final but says it would not give them an advantage.

England head coach Eddie Jones claimed someone was spotted filming England's training session on Tuesday.

Jones said it may have been a Japanese fan seen in an apartment overlooking the pitch, but admitted he used to spy on opponents.

Defence coach Mitchell does not believe the All Blacks would gain anything from seeing how England were preparing for a titanic battle in Yokohama City on Saturday.

"If that is what they want to do, and that is the way they want to prepare, good luck to them," the New Zealander said.

He added: "We just happened to be training where there are apartments above our tiny two-metre fence, so I am not sure about what the use of the tarpaulins are.

"The facilities have been excellent but it's an area where people live and there is the odd red light around. There was one up in the corner, which was a bit suspicious.

"It doesn't really worry me. This game is so dynamic now so I don't see any advantage in spying on a team."

Mitchell revealed spying is not uncommon at the highest level of rugby.

"When I took over the All Blacks in 2001 we had a manager who was highly military and he loved surveying the whole area," he said.

"To me, you can get too involved in it and create an anxiety in your group. There is enough pressure at this level without chasing around some blokes that might be in a building with a camera.

"I was with Sir Clive Woodward when we were going for a Grand Slam against Scotland and we chased somebody from one of the papers around the corner and caught him in a hedge.

"He was pretty unlucky actually but that was when the game was a lot different to what it is now. I've seen coaches spy, I've had other coaches spy. I've had mates spy as well, but I don't see any advantage."

Michael Cheika believes his successor as Wallabies head coach should "definitely" be Australian.

Australia were dumped out of the Rugby World Cup in a 40-16 quarter-final defeat to England on Saturday.

Cheika brought his five-year stint in charge, which included a run to the World Cup final in 2015, to an end after the defeat.

New Zealand coaches Jamie Joseph and Dave Rennie have been linked with the post but, when touching down after flying back from Japan, Cheika told reporters Rugby Australia should look at home for their next appointment.

"I think definitely we should be pushing for an Australian coach," he said. 

"It's not up to me but I think we should be backing and supporting Australian coaches wherever possible."

Cheika had said before the tournament that he would step down if Australia failed to lift the trophy and he insists there was never a chance he would change his decision.

"We came second last time and I figure [after] four years you've got to come first next time," he added. 

"You can't call it and then change your mind afterwards because that's genuinely what we wanted to do - go there and win."

Skipper Michael Hooper paid tribute to Cheika's contribution on and off the training field.

"Cheik's been amazing, me personally I owe that man a lot," he said. "The passion that he represented us or stood up for us all the time and just generally wanted the best for Australian rugby. 

"Not just for the team, not just for him selfishly being the coach of the team but wanting the best for Australian rugby. 

"After he's long gone, to leave something that's positive, he's always believed in that and I think he will. 

"He's made me a better person, not just a rugby player. So, I've got a lot to thank him for that."

Kieran Read is "100 per cent" fit for New Zealand's Rugby World Cup semi-final against England, insists head coach Steve Hansen.

Influential skipper Read was absent from the All Blacks' training session on Tuesday to spark fears over his availability for the mouth-watering showdown in Yokohama.

However, Hansen says Read was nursing a sore calf that New Zealand did not want to exacerbate in wet conditions.

"There is no issue. You didn't see him train because he was in the gym on the bike," Hansen said. 

"He got a tight calf from the game the other day and we didn't want to put him out on a wet track."

Pressed on if Read will face England, Hansen replied: "Yeah, 100 per cent."

Team-mate Sam Whitelock had a somewhat cheekier retort when asked about Read's absence from training.

"A bit of the banter around the team is that he didn't want to get wet today!" he said. 

"I'm sure he'll be fine. He's a tough man, he just didn't want to get wet."

England coach Eddie Jones described New Zealand as "the greatest team there's ever been in sport" ahead of the last-four meeting.

Hansen, while grateful for the compliment from his long-time friend, feels there may be a bit of kidology at play from a man renowned for a love of mind games.

"That's a really nice statement," Hansen said with a grin. "I'm sure Eddie believes that but he's also being quite kind.

"It's [kidology] a real thing but sometimes you're better not to go there. Eddie is a smart man. He knows me well, I know him." 

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