A British newspaper has compiled an All Blacks-England XV with the world champions coming out on top despite a few contentious selections.

Telegraph reporter Gavin Mairs has selected his preferred starting side made up of players from the current All Blacks and England squads. Over the weekend England equalled the All Blacks' 18-test winning streak which the world number one side set last year.

England can break the tier-one record with a victory over Ireland on Sunday.

According to Mairs, he'd select 10 All Blacks and five England players in his side, with 84-test veteran Sam Whitelock probably the biggest snub. Mairs selected impressive lock Maro Itoje ahead of Whitelock.


The All Blacks XV Mairs choose from is based on the side that beat Ireland in Dublin last season, which is why Liam Squire is named at six ahead of regular starter Jerome Kaino. A Kaino selection would most probably give the All Blacks an 11-4 advantage.

The centre pairing of Malakai Fekitoa and Anton Lienert-Brown also might not be considered as the first choice 12-13 combination for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen with Ryan Crotty starting in 11 tests last year.

Two of the five England selections (Itoje and Owen Farrell) were both nominated for World Rugby player of the year last season, as was Billy Vunipola who still missed out to Kieran Read for the starting number eight spot in Mairs' team.

Telegraph's combined All Blacks-England starting XV

15 - Ben Smith vs Mike Brown - Smith
14 - Israel Dagg vs Jack Nowell - Dagg
13 - Malakai Fekitoa vs Jonathan Joseph - Joseph
12 - Anton Lienert-Brown vs Owen Farrell - Farrell
11 - Julian Savea vs Elliot Daly - Savea
10 - Beauden Barrett vs George Ford - Barrett
9 - Aaron Smith vs Ben Youngs - Smith
8 - Kieran Read vs Billy Vunipola - Read
7 - Sam Cane vs James Haskell - Cane
6 - Liam Squire vs Courtney Lawes - Lawes
5 - Sam Whitelock vs Maro Itoje - Itoje
4 - Brodie Retallick vs Joe Launchbury - Retallick
3 - Owen Franks vs Dan Cole - Franks
2 - Dane Coles vs Dylan Hartley - Coles
1 - Joe Moody vs Mako Vunipola - Vunipola