AP NEWS

All Blacks, England set to meet in Rugby World Cup semifinal

October 26, 2019
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England rugby player George Ford trains at the Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan on Friday Oct. 25, 2019. England will face New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semifinals on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
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England rugby player George Ford trains at the Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan on Friday Oct. 25, 2019. England will face New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup semifinals on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — Defending champion New Zealand and England are preparing to play off for a place in the Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand hasn’t lost a World Cup game since a quarterfinal defeat to France in 2007, is aiming for an unprecedented third consecutive title and takes a six-game winning streak against England into Saturday’s semifinal. No other team has won two World Cups in a row.

England is aiming to reach the final for the first time since 2007, when it lost to South Africa. England was eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2011 and failed to make it out of the group stage in 2015 in the tournament it was hosting.

England’s extra-time victory over Australia in the 2003 final is the only Rugby World Cup title won by a team from the northern hemisphere.

South Africa and Wales meet Sunday in the other semifinal.

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