No changes from All Blacks

Date published: October 29 2015

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New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has named an unchanged side for their Rugby World Cup Final clash with Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

The line-up is the same as the one that defeated South Africa in the semi-final.

The last time the All Blacks named an unchanged starting line-up between successive RWC matches was in 2011, when they made no changes to the team that defeated Australia in the semi-finals then took on France in the final.

Thirteen players in the current All Blacks squad were part of the triumphant RWC 2011 squad and Tony Woodcock, who has left the current squad, would make that 14.

Apart from Woodcock, the players hoping to retain the Webb Ellis Cup are Keven Mealamu, Owen Franks, Ben Franks, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read, Victor Vito, Dan Carter, Colin Slade, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Sonny Bill Williams.

Conrad Smith, Nonu, Woodcock, Mealamu, Owen Franks, Whitelock, Kaino, McCaw and Read all started in the 2011 final and Williams came on as a replacement in that match.

Only six players have been part of two World Cup-winning campaigns: Australia's Phil Kearns, Jason Little, Tim Horan, Dan Crowley and John Eales and South Africa's Os du Randt.

McCaw extends a World Cup record in captaining his side for the 13th time in the competition. He also extends the world record for test appearances to 148.

With his 22nd appearance in a World Cup match, McCaw equals the competition record held by England's Jason Leonard.

Julian Savea is the leading try scorer at Rugby World Cup 2015 with eight. He jointly holds the record for tries in a single World Cup, a mark established by Jonah Lomu (1999) and Bryan Habana (2007).

Mealamu has been on the winning side in each of his past 15 Rugby World Cup appearances, a record streak for the competition.

Six members of this All Blacks squad have made more than 10 RWC appearances and been on the winning side in all of them: Nonu (14), Conrad Smith (14), Whitelock (13), Kaino (13), Williams (13) and Owen Franks (12).

New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Sonny Bill Williams.

Date: Saturday, October 31
Venue: Twickenham
Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Wayne Barnes (England)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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