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How do England measure up to the All Blacks?

Sam Warburton feels England have earned the right to be compared to New Zealand - but does the comparison hold up?

Former Wales captain Warburton, looking ahead to his side's RBS 6 Nations clash with England, said: "England are deservedly tagged as the best team in the northern hemisphere. It's a fair judgement to compare them to the All Blacks right now - that's how good they are."

Here, Press Association Sport takes a statistical look at how the two teams match up.

RECENT FORM

England's 15-match unbeaten run under coach Eddie Jones is the main factor leading to the comparisons with this era's most dominant team.

Since hammering Uruguay 60-3 in October 2015, England have added the scalps of Australia four times, France and Wales twice apiece, Scotland, Italy, Ireland, South Africa, Fiji and Argentina.

In a similar time-frame, the All Blacks have won 22 of their last 23 games dating back to August 2015 - their solitary loss coming against Ireland in Chicago last November.

Since the start of 2016, New Zealand have scored an average of 40.27 points in each of their 15 games, with England averaging 31.64 in one game fewer.

WORLD RANKING

Jones' men are second behind New Zealand after reaching 90.46 ranking points in this week's updated list, with the All Blacks out in front on 94.78. England enjoy a similar gap over third-placed Australia, on 86.35.

The rankings were introduced after England's World Cup win in 2003 and saw them top of the pile, New Zealand nudging ahead for a brief spell later that year before taking the lead decisively in June 2004.

They held the lead until late 2007 and, after trading top spot with South Africa until late 2009, have not budged from the summit since.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

England and New Zealand have not met since November 2014 at Twickenham and have no upcoming fixture scheduled, making it difficult to draw a direct comparison between the current sides.

New Zealand won that last meeting 24-21, their fifth straight win over England and 32nd in 40 meetings in all - England winning seven, with one draw.

For a further historical comparison, New Zealand have won three World Cup titles and reached a fourth final, with England appearing in three finals including that memorable 2003 triumph.

The All Blacks have won 14 of the 21 titles contested in the Rugby Championship and its predecessor the Tri Nations, against the might of Australia and South Africa along with recent addition Argentina.

England have won the Six Nations on five occasions since it was expanded to include Italy in 2000, and 27 of the 120 competitions in the tournament's various formats throughout history.

CONCLUSION

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.

However, Warburton's comparison will need to be played out on the pitch again before the teams can truly be weighed against one another.

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