Zinzan Brooke: England will not be able to live with New Zealand
Last Updated: 14/11/13 9:59am
Zinzan Brooke says that New Zealand's loss to England last year was just a blip and expects the All Blacks to be far too strong for Stuart Lancaster's men in their QBE International clash on Saturday.
The current world champions were soundly beaten 38-21 when they visited Twickenham last year but they have gone on to dominate the game since then. The facts speak for themselves - played 13, won 13 - but France pushed them all the way last week in Paris which could bode well for England. However Brooke disagrees and says the current All Blacks are way ahead of anyone else at the moment.
"With their form and the way they are playing at the moment I think it will be hard for any team to go with them."
"After what happened last year the boys will want to square that off - they will be hugely driven to do that on this tour," Brooke told Sky Sports.
"With their form and the way they are playing at the moment I think it will be hard for any team to go with them. In all honestly I think it is going to be all New Zealand, this is their game to lose.
"They have really pushed on, sometimes once you have won a World Cup sometimes the form drops off and plateaus but this team here has been exceptional and they have kicked on to another level. Some of the rugby they have played in the last few weeks has been exceptional. They have raised the bar."
Brooke, who won 58 caps for New Zealand and plied his trade in the Premiership with Harlequins, believes that England have lacked the consistency and have not built on that victory from last year.
"After that result against the All Blacks there was plenty of confidence and you really expect them to carry that through to the Six Nations - we saw glimpses and patches but there was not enough consistency to think that they had raised the bar themselves. I feel they were totally exposed against Wales."
England may have beaten Australia and Argentina in their first two Tests, but their performances have not been that impressive and Brooke believes they are still trying to find a direction
"I think where England are now is very similar to where Australia are - I have not seen too many bright patches from either of them this season. I think England and Australia are a little bit rudderless on the field at the moment. There is the opportunity for Stuart Lancaster to make sure that England get it right - set the foundations and the direction.
"We are about to find out how good England really are, they can play very well but can they maintain that level against a side like New Zealand?"
Watch England take on the All Blacks live on Sky Sports 1 and Sky 3D, coverage starts at 1.30pm
Zinzan Brooke was speaking on behalf of QBE, the business insurance specialist, ahead of the QBE Internationals - www.QBErugby.com