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Rugby World Cup final: Five New Zealand players to watch

| 31.10.2015

Matt Haynes | October 29, 2015

As we look ahead to the eagerly anticipated Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia in our comprehensive build-up we focus on the All Blacks and which five players could make the difference.

Julian Savea

Britain Rugby WCup New Zealand Georgia
Arguably the player of the tournament so far, the winger who has drawn comparisons to former All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu has been nominated twice for try of the tournament. Having played a crucial part in the quarter-final demolition of France, in which he scored his second hat-trick of the World Cup.

If he plays to his best, he can run riot over Australia who will do well to keep him quiet and is 15/2 to cross first.

Nehe Milner-Skudder

Another All Black to be nominated for an award, the 24-year-old is in contention to win Breakthrough Player of the Year and provides almost as much of a threat as Savea on the other side. Known for his explosive, spontaneous side-stepping sorcery the wing wizard, once afforded space will punish opponents.

Dan Carter

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool C - New Zealand v Georgia - Millennium Stadium
The best kicker in world rugby, the 33-year-old is vying for his second World Cup win and his conversions can make all the difference against Australia. It is the fly-half’s intelligence and awareness that is perhaps his strongest asset; his ability to conduct the pattern of play crucial to the way the All Blacks operate.

It is this awareness that also enables him to find smart kicking positions for drop goals which, in the end, may be decisive.

Richie McCaw

New Zealand’s captain fantastic will be hoping to bow out on a high when he appears in his last match against Australia. A keen gliding enthusiast, the 34-year-old will be hoping his side fly out of the blocks and is 11/2 to score anytime.

Ma’a Nonu

Another veteran, who surpassed his 100th appearance mark against Tonga in the group stage, he joins his captain and Carter plus Conrad Smith and Keven Mealamu in making their final All Blacks appearance.

A player who puts his body on the line time and again, his contribution is often overlooked by the perhaps, more glamorous stars of the side and is 3/1 to score in the anytime market.


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Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.