New Zealand captain Sam Cane symbolically place the shirt on the ground as a mark of respect ahead of their traditional haka.
Almost a year to the day since they were beaten by South Africa in the World Cup final, England climbed to the summit of the northern hemisphere's showcase tournament with a 34-5 win away to Italy during the second of the day's three games.
After winning 27-7 in Auckland, which followed a tense 16-16 draw in Wellington, they accomplished their mission in Sydney by their biggest ever winning margin against the Wallabies, with one match of the series to go next week.
The Springboks, who haven't played since winning the World Cup for the third time in Japan last year, cited government travel restrictions, player welfare and safety concerns for their withdrawal.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie had raised concerns that border controls preventing his squad training together while undergoing two weeks' quarantine would leave them under-prepared for a clash against the All Blacks.
New Zealand's quarantine rules won't stop All Blacks from hosting Australia in Bledisloe Cup, says PM Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand last week lost hosting rights for the November-December Rugby Championship to Australia because its strict border controls would have hampered player training.
The tournament, already delayed from August and September, had been expected to be staged in New Zealand from 7 November to 12 December because of New Zealand’s initial success in containing the coronavirus pandemic.
World Rugby cancels Hamilton and Sydney legs of Sevens World Series involving Australia and New Zealand
World Rugby announced that the New Zealand and Australian events would be canceled in 2021 and it planned to start the annual series with events in Hong Kong and Singapore in April.
Sunday's season-ending game between the Blues and Crusaders at Auckland's 50,000-capacity Eden Park stadium was "officially off", a statement said, after New Zealand extended its lockdown of the city.
South Africa's top domestic teams have been out of action since the southern hemisphere's Super Rugby competition was suspended in mid-March.
World Rugby extends autumn international window to allow completion of Six Nations, other Test fixtures
With no major rugby since March and national unions in deepening debt, World Rugby has enlarged the window from 24 October to the second weekend of December.
On Saturday, New Zealand became one of the first nations in the world to welcome fans back into a packed sports stadium.
England rugby coach Eddie Jones advocates eliminating scrum resets, reducing substitutes to speed up sport
England rugby coach Eddie Jones says stoppages and too many reserve players are making rugby too much like American football and steps need to be taken to speed up the game.
Despite filing for bankruptcy during coronavirus pandemic, USA Rugby optimistic about bidding for World Cup in 2027
The Americans retain a vital place in global rugby because of the untapped potential they possess, in both a commercial and sporting sense
Fox Sports Australia apologises for broadcasting Adolf Hitler's image during National Rugby League show
Fox Sports Australia issued an apology, saying it was concerned about a digitally manipulated image shown during the Sunday Night with Matty Johns program.
Coronavirus Outbreak: National Rugby League resumes in Australia after two-month hiatus with some feel-good moments
There were as many feel-good stories off the field as there were on when the National Rugby League restarted its season on the weekend with empty stadiums and using only six venues in order to cut down on travel and better manage coronavirus threats that had shut down the league since 23 March.
Coronavirus Outbreak: No rugby for world-cup winning Springboks as South Africa maintains ban on contact sports competitions
The announcement by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa came as South Africa prepares to further ease lockdown on Monday and open up most of its economy as part of a phased relaxation of restrictions
The NRL announced a revised 16-round schedule for the competition, which has been suspended since 23 March because of coronavirus restrictions
New Zealand had been scheduled to play Wales and Scotland, Australia was set to play Ireland and Fiji and South Africa had planned to host Scotland and Georgia.
Coronavirus Outbreak: New Zealand's Super Rugby to commence on 13 June with matches to be held without fans
A domestic tournament involving New Zealand’s five Super Rugby teams will begin on 13 June after the New Zealand government Monday loosened restrictions on sporting competitions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.