England's long-awaited showdown with the All Blacks in November is destined to be the most expensive one-off test in history — with the RFU planning to charge £195 (NZ$372) for top tickets.

The premium seats will cost £34 more than for the matches against Wales and Ireland in the current Six Nations campaign, the Daily Mail reports.

The last time New Zealand faced England at Twickenham, in 2014, the top-priced tickets were £89, so there is set to be a like-for-like increase of £106 in the space of just four years.

That prize tag is still below the amount fans paid for premium seats during last year's series between the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions, which ranged from from $NZ149 to $449.


The RFU insisted to the Daily Mail that the pricing policy for the fixture on November 10 between the teams ranked first and second in the world is still to be confirmed. It is due to be presented to the union's council at a meeting in April but a well-placed source claimed that approval is likely to be a formality, given the appetite for this blockbuster event.

A spokeswoman for the RFU said: "We haven't yet finalised ticket pricing for the 2018-19 season, including the England v New Zealand game, which is our prime fixture next season. We always have a range of prices at Twickenham, and the top price is typically paid by no more than 10 per cent of the fans.

"At the England v Wales match on Saturday (Sunday NZT) — where demand massively exceeded supply — our ticket prices started at £41, which is highly competitive. All the money we make from ticket sales is invested back into the game, including in the grassroots game and improving rugby club facilities up and down the country."

A year ago in these pages, the union sought to defend their pricing structure after the Daily Mail revealed that top tickets for England v France at Twickenham had risen to £130 from £106 for the corresponding fixture two years earlier. The previous autumn, comparable seats for Tests against Australia and South Africa had been £103.

While the RFU are adamant that prices have been frozen this year, there is a sense of the national stadium becoming an increasingly elitist sporting venue. A family of four wishing to watch the All Blacks game from the premium seats would have to pay a shade under £800 ($NZ1525). Factor in transport costs, food and drink and the cost of programmes and merchandising, and such a day trip could comfortably require a four-figure outlay.

The Welsh Rugby Union were accused of profiteering last year when they charged £100 for top tickets for Wales v New Zealand — yet the RFU are poised to nearly double that figure in the knowledge that the law of supply and demand is in their favour. They could sell out the stadium several times over, even at such high prices.

The London sporting market has become among the most corporate and exorbitant in the world. It is a phenomenon which extends far beyond the confines of rugby, but Twickenham has been at the vanguard of the wider quest to attract wealthy, big-spending customers. It has long been a location synonymous with prosperity but that impression is being reinforced further with every passing year.

However, the RFU insist that lower prices for the non-marquee Tests mean it is still accessible.


To get the day's top sports stories in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here