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England closer to All Blacks - but still work to do

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    09 Feb 2017     Getty Images

"England are deservedly tagged as the best team in the northern hemisphere. It's a fair judgment to compare them to the All Blacks right now – that's how good they are," he said.

After Warburton made his comments ahead of the weekend's Wales-England game, PA Sport in England did some comparisons of their own.

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Since losing to Australia to be ejected from the 2015 World Cup, England have won 15 games, 14 of them under coach Eddie Jones and that is what most people target as the sign of England's growing stature, especially as they close in on the All Blacks' 18-game winning world record.

But in the same time frame, the All Blacks have won 22 of their last 23 games with their only loss to Ireland in Chicago last year.

In the 2016 calendar year the All Blacks averaged 40.27 points per game while England managed 31.64.

England may have been the highest-ranked team when the World Rugby rankings were introduced after the 2003 World Cup. However, New Zealand quickly gained top place and apart from a rocky spell in competition with South Africa between 2007-2009, the All Blacks have reigned at the top of the rankings.

They sit on 94.78 points at the moment while England are on 90.46.

In 40 Tests between the two countries, New Zealand have won 32, including the last five in succession, while there has been one draw.

Other comparisons show the All Blacks have been three-time World Champions, England once. The All Blacks have won 14 of the 21 Rugby Championships/Tri Nations.

Since 2000 when the Five Nations became the Six Nations, England have won the title five times and in the 120 tournaments since the northern hemisphere competition began, England have won the title 27 times.

PA Sport concluded: "All the available statistics show New Zealand still out in front in world rugby, with England their nearest challengers but still a little way behind."