The Rugby World Cup semi-finals kick off in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday morning, with England hoping to break New Zealand’s 18-match unbeaten run in the competition.
The All Blacks have won the last two tournaments, but more superstitious England fans will point out that the last time New Zealand lost a World Cup game was 12 years ago, when the English reached the final.
Certainly this is the biggest game in head coach Eddie Jones’s England career, but his side were in scintillating form when they beat Australia 40-16 in the last round and will go into this last-four tie full of confidence.
Jones has recalled George Ford at fly-half, with captain Owen Farrell shifting to inside centre, meaning it’s the same 10-12 combination that helped pick up bonus point wins against Tonga, USA and Argentina in the group stage.
Manu Tuilagi moves to outside centre in place of Henry Slade who will start from the bench, and winger Jonny May has overcome an injury scare against Australia to be declared fit.
“It’s the two heavyweights of world rugby,” says Jones. “One dressed in black, the crowd favourite, the nation’s favourite; the other in white, probably the most disliked team in the world.”
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has made changes from the All Blacks’ 46-14 destruction of Ireland, too, dropping flanker Sam Cane to the bench and replacing him with Scott Barrett in the back row.
“Games against New Zealand are always won in the last 20 minutes, because it’s always about being alive, it’s always about work rate,” adds Jones. “They’re a team that is always in the game, so you’ve just got to be so disciplined in the way you play the game.”
It’s set to be a colossal bout between the two, so here we’ve put together a guide for how you can watch this and all the remaining matches live on TV, online and on the go, wherever you are in the world.
Watch England vs New Zealand in the UK
ITV is where you’ll find all the action from the World Cup if you’re situated in the UK, meaning you won’t have to pay a penny for the privilege. Its +1 channel might also be of use if you’re hoping for an extra hour in bed before the early morning start.
As well as showing all the matches live, it also has a late-night highlights show for those of us who will be at work, asleep or otherwise engaged on Saturday morning.
ITV has no 4K facility, but games will be available in HD on your television or standard definition via its website and the ITV Player app.
Find out below how you can access those services even if you’re not in the UK on Saturday morning.
Watch England vs New Zealand from abroad using a VPN
Trying to access ITV streams from outside the UK – if you’re on holiday or working abroad, for example – is still a problem. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access – even if you’re a UK national. This will be the same if you try to access any geo-blocked stream from around the world.
So, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
VPNs are as useful for banking as they are at trying to watch video content or access websites that people in your location are not supposed to do. So, whether you want to watch live rugby, enjoy another country’s Netflix library or just keep your browsing data private, then they’re well worth considering.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service and would recommend the following:
You can get three months free when you sign up to a year-long plan, bringing VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. Express also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Which comes in at as little as $2.99 (£2.29) per month and features 24/7 assistance
Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the match. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one which is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.
You can find a full list of the world’s broadcasters with rights to show live Rugby World Cup matches here.
Watch England vs New Zealand in the USA
Exclusive rights to show the Rugby World Cup in the USA belong to NBC Sports Gold, which offered a pass to stream all 48 live matches across the tournament, commercial-free, for $199.99. A single match pass otherwise costs $29.99, which makes more sense now there are only four games to go.
NBC also offers an all-access premium pass for $79.99, which doesn’t include the World Cup but unlocks a whole season’s worth of action outside this tournament, including the Six Nations and Rugby League Premiership.
You can choose your NBC Sports Gold Rugby World Cup pass here.
If you’re going to be out of the country over the next couple of weeks, you can still use your pass with a VPN. See our above section to find out how to access geo-blocked streams.
Knockout stage fixtures
All times shown are BST.
England vs New Zealand, 9.00am – Saturday 26th
Wales vs South Africa, 9.00am – Sunday 27th
Loser semi-final 1 vs Loser semi-final 2, 9.00am – Friday 1st
Winner semi-final 1 vs Winner semi-final 2, 9.00am – Saturday 2nd