With their win over Scotland at the weekend, England equalled New Zealand’s record of 18 consecutive victories with 17 of those under Eddie Jones. There is a chance that record will be beaten at the weekend when England play Ireland having already secured the Championship surely the hunger for the Grand Slam and beating New Zealand’s record will inspire a confident England side.
Though despite this record can England claim they really are the World number 1? Well the answer based on rankings is No. In World Rugby’s rankings as of 13th March 2017 New Zealand are top with 94.78 points whilst England are comfortably second on 91.02 points. So the rankings suggest England still have a way to go before beating New Zealand.
New Zealand surrendered their winning run of 18 matches to Ireland back in November 2016 so on that basis if England extend their winning run to 19 matches, surely they would be the best? However don’t expect Ireland to go down without a fight this weekend. they would love nothing more than preventing England breaking that record and from their second consecutive Grand Slam. Ireland also have their World Ranking to worry about as they will want a top 4 spot when the World Cup seeding’s are released.
Then we move onto the other answer which is an inconclusive one. We will never know until England play the All Blacks. With no fixture currently planned with the All Blacks it looks almost as if England are running from the prospect so we may not know until the World Cup where it still isn’t certain they will meet.