Jamie George wants his England team-mates to ‘love’ facing the All Blacks

England have only won two Tests against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

Jamie George is excited to lead England into a two-Test series against the All Blacks
Jamie George is excited to lead England into a two-Test series against the All Blacks (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Jamie George has urged his England team-mates to embrace the challenge of taking on the All Blacks in New Zealand.

England arrived in Auckland fresh from a 52-17 victory over Japan on Saturday, which ensured Steve Borthwick’s team made the perfect start to a stern summer examination.

The size of the task at hand is laid bare by England’s record against the All Blacks – eight wins in 43 Tests and only two achieved in New Zealand.

However, England captain George is excited to take on the All Blacks in a two-Test series which starts on July 6.

“My message to the team is to soak it in, to love it and to enjoy it,” George told New Zealand broadcaster TVNZ.

“This is what rugby for me is all about. Coming out to tours like this, to hostile places and trying to compete against the best.”

George was speaking at a food bank in west Auckland run by All Blacks great Sir Michael Jones.

The England captain along with other members of the squad offered to pack food boxes and brought along Yorkshire Tea after they landed in the country on Monday.

He added: “We couldn’t respect Michael any more. I am sure my old man will be buzzing (that I’ve met him).”

Victory over Japan continued England’s resurgence under Borthwick after they ended a mixed Six Nations campaign with strong displays against Ireland and France.

It is a different story for New Zealand with the first Test in Dunedin set to be the first time the group are together since they finished runners-up to South Africa at the 2023 World Cup in October.

Ian Foster left his role as head coach following the tournament and has been replaced by Scott Robertson, who guided Crusaders to seven consecutive Super Rugby championships before he departed to take over the All Blacks.

George admitted: “I think there is an element of the unknown.

“The challenge is almost not being blown away by the skill level and the physicality. The style of play they’re probably going to play is likely to be similar to the Crusaders.”