England are in talks over a landmark Test in the USA for the first time in 24 years next summer - during the British and Irish Lions' tour of Australia

England are set to face Argentina in North America in two Tests next summerThey could also take on the USA away from home for first time since 2001Plans could change if Steve Borthwick becomes involved with the Lions side 

England are in talks about playing a landmark Test in the USA next summer, en route to Argentina – while the Lions contingent are in Australia.

Mail Sport understands that plans are locked in already for two internationals against the Pumas in 2025, in keeping with recent tradition for trips to South America in Lions years. But it is believed there is a chance that they will venture to North America too, which would represent a significant break with modern-day touring patterns.

England's travels have become limited to so-called 'Tier 1' nations in the last two decades and more. In 2021, the national team hosted the USA and Canada while Covid restrictions remained in place. Four years earlier, they played two Tests in Argentina. They did the same back in 2013, although that long-haul mission also featured a clash with a South America XV in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay.

In 2009, there were also two Tests against the Argentines – one staged at Old Trafford to provide their union with a revenue boost. It was way back in 2001 when England last played an away Test – aside from at World Cups – against a country outside the sport's elite. Although the Pumas weren't added the expanded annual southern-hemisphere Rugby Championship until 2012, they gained unofficial Tier 1 status after their heroics at the global showpiece in 2007.

Twenty-three years ago, England – albeit minus several Lions – played against the USA in San Francisco, at the end of a tour which also featured two Tests in Canada, as well as additional matches against British Colombia and USA 'A'. Although an England Saxons ('A') team played in the States, in Churchill Cup tournaments, up until 2011, the senior side last visited a decade earlier.

England are in talks to play USA away from home for the first time since 2001 next summer

England are in talks to play USA away from home for the first time since 2001 next summer

Mail Sport understands that plans are already locked for England to take on Argentina in two Tests

Mail Sport understands that plans are already locked for England to take on Argentina in two Tests

The games are set to take place when Andy Farrell's British and Irish Lions are in Australia

The games are set to take place when Andy Farrell's British and Irish Lions are in Australia

It would be a notable trip for that reason, but also for the potential impact on American efforts to build towards their home World Cup in 2031. The Eagles didn't qualify for the tournament in France last autumn and a home encounter with England would be a box-office means of driving interest as well as on-field standards. It would also fit in with the amended touring model in place this year, whereby top nations play one Test against a Tier 2 side before two against a leading rival.

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From 2026, the new Nations Championship will be launched, featuring the Six Nations and Rugby Championship teams, plus – subject to confirmation from SANZAAR (representing Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) – Fiji and Japan. That will spell the end of traditional tours, which is something which will be lamented by players as well as spectators.

When the issue was raised with England captain Jamie George here, he said: 'We've spoken about the fact that this could be the last traditional tour – we don't know what the future holds in that respect. What makes it special, with his tour in particular; coming across two countries is a challenge in itself, coming across two hemispheres brings its own challenges.

'I love Test series, playing teams back-to-back. It's fascinating how you need to be tactically across those games. You set people up with plans in game one that you then might try to manipulate differently in game two. That's something I've always loved.'

Engand star Jamie George has opened up on England's traditional tour schedules changing

Engand star Jamie George has opened up on England's traditional tour schedules changing

Plans could change if Borthwick becomes involved with the Lions side, but that is unlikely

England are most likely to have Steve Borthwick at the helm for their tour next summer. Mail Sport understands that the RFU have not yet undertaken any contingency planning in the event of the Red Rose head coach being asked by Andy Farrell to take up a role in his Lions management team.

Such a scenario is unlikely but not out of the question. Borthwick is unsurpassed as a technically-accomplished, meticulous, analytical forwards coach. These days, he has a broader, elevated role, but Farrell knows what he can bring from first-hand experience in 2017.

Meanwhile, George expressed his support for the possibility of Kevin Sinfield staying on with England beyond this tour – having previously announced that he would be moving on. The former rugby league legend has been in a kicking, skills and mentoring role, and the skipper said: 'He is such an incredible coach. I couldn't be keener for him to stay. The role he's playing is absolutely invaluable, and he's an absolutely incredible man.'

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