Irish let slip clash against the All Blacks

Cape Town - The world champion No 1-ranked All Blacks appear set to face both their closest rivals - England and Ireland - on their 2018 end-of-year northern hemisphere tour.

The clash between England and the All Blacks will, unbelievably, be the first time since November 2014 that the world's top two sides will face off.

That clash is set for Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Twickenham. Put it in your diaries now!

The All Blacks are expected to warm up for the showdown against Eddie Jones' team with a clash against Japan on November 3 at a venue still to be determined.

News of Ireland's Test against the All Blacks was let slip this week by their Kiwi coach, Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt said Ireland would likely have three opponents next November: New Zealand, Argentina and a second tier team not yet announced, according to the Stuff.co.nz website.

"You never know the tier 2 (team) until later but I think it is Argentina and New Zealand," he said.

"At this stage (it is just three games). Again, we'll always get asked for a fourth game.

Schmidt has worked hard to ensure his side are exposed to Rugby Championship sides as much as possible between Rugby World Cups.

The All Blacks will also welcome France to New Zealand for a three-Test series in mid-year in 2018, before the annual Rugby Championship.