London -England will play Tests in Auckland, Dunedin and Hamilton when they
tour New Zealand next year, the Rugby Football Union announced Monday.
series starts at the All Blacks Eden Park fortress on June 7, continues
at Forsyth Barr Stadium seven days later and concludes at Waikato
Stadium on June 21.
England's tour also includes a midweek match against seven-time Super Rugby champions the Crusaders in Christchurch on June 17.
of England's 2011 World Cup group matches were staged in Dunedin, where
they defeated Argentina, Georgia and Romania, while Eden Park was the
setting for their 19-12 quarter-final loss to beaten finalists France.
World Cup hosts England will travel to New Zealand looking to turn the
table on the world champions following last month's 30-22 loss at
Twickenham in a gripping encounter.
"To play the world champions in their own back yard is the ultimate test," said England coach Stuart Lancaster.
"We saw in the Rugby Championship and the QBE Internationals what a formidable team and rugby nation New Zealand is.
is our final tour before the World Cup and is massively important for
us to benchmark ourselves against the number one team in the world.
three Tests and a midweek match will give us the opportunity to take 35
to 40 players who will get a chance to lay down a marker 15 months out
from the World Cup."
In a separate statement, New Zealand Rugby
Union chief executive Steve Tew said: "We are very excited to be hosting
England next year.
"England have proven in recent matches with
the All Blacks just how tough an opponent they are so we hope this
series will be a huge draw card for fans."
England's prospects of
winning the series opener will be hampered by a fixture clash that means
Lancaster is almost bound to field a weakened team.
Test takes place just seven days after the English Premiership final at
Twickenham and that has left Lancaster in a position where he won't be
able to field his best XV until Dunedin.
France, Wales and
Ireland will face the same complication following the Top 14 and Celtic
League finals on May 31 for their 2014 tours of Australia, South Africa
and Argentina respectively.
International Rugby Board (IRB) chief
executive Brett Gosper said last week officials were looking at ways to
avoid similar schedule clashes in the future.
After the England
tour, New Zealabnd -- who recently became the first side in the
professional era to win all their Tests in a calendar year -- will stage
three matches in the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship.
internationals will take place at ests at Eden Park, Westpac Stadium
and McLean Park in Napier, with the Napier match the first All Blacks
Test there since a 1996 encounter against Samoa.
Fixtures for England's tour of New Zealand in 2014:
First Test, Eden Park, Auckland
Second Test, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Crusaders, AMI (Addington) Stadium, Christchurch
Third Test, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Note: All kick-of times to be confirmed