21 Jun 2014

Not ideal conditions in Hamilton for final Test

5:21 pm on 21 June 2014

Rain in Hamilton could put a dampener on the All Blacks' hopes of their best performance yet in the England series, as both teams prepare to clash in the final match at Waikato Stadium.

The All Blacks have the chance to equal a record for successive Test wins with 17 if they can whitewash England in Hamilton.

Steve Hansen's side have won their last 16 internationals and are now one victory away from equalling the record among Tier One Nations jointly held by the 1965-69 All Blacks and the 1997-98 South African teams.

With a 3-0 series win beckoning, Hansen's also tried to put some pressure back on the tourists.

England coach Stuart Lancaster after all has made no secret he is building a side for the global showpiece they host and the series against the All Blacks would allow him to benchmark his team and their progress.

The side have impressed with their combative nature and their willingness to use the ball and develop a wide game plan, if they may not quite have achieved what they set out to do.

There is a paucity of true ball handlers amongst his tight five, while his big loose forwards do not have the same skill level of their All Blacks counterparts.

When the All Blacks also upped the tempo last week in Dunedin, England failed to stay with them.

Lancaster has also been forced to chop and change his selections throughout the series due to the late arrival of 16 players following the English club final, ensuring he never had the chance to truly cement, or settle on a top combination.