Rugby Union

Australia and New Zealand name teams ahead of World Cup final

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Australia and New Zealand have announced their sides for this year's Rugby World Cup final.

The All Blacks make no changes to the team that beat South Africa in their thrilling, and, at times, nail-biting semi-final.

Australia have made a single change to their side that knocked impressive Argentina out of the World Cup, with Loosehead prop Scott Sio returns to the fold.

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The 24-year-old was impressive in the games against Wales and England, notably giving England Tighthead prop Dan Cole a torrid time at the scrum. He then suffered an elbow injury against Scotland, but also suffered heavily in the scrum against Scottish prop WP Nel. Sio will have an easier matchup this Saturday, though, against New Zealand prop Owen Franks.

Matt Giteau, the only remaining member of Australia's side from the 2003 World Cup final, has been cleared to play despite a groin injury that forced him off against Argentina before the 50-minute mark.

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Inspirational Australian full-back, Israel Folau, has also regained fitness after struggling with an ankle injury since the group stages.

Four New Zealand players, Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Kevin Mealamu, have confirmed that the match will be their final game for the All Blacks. Nonu and Smith will partner each other in the centres for the 62nd time in Tests, keeping mercurial Rugby League convert, Sonny Bill Williams on the bench.

It is also suspected to be the last match for New Zealand captain, Richie McCaw.

The teams in full

Australia: Israel Folau; Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell; Bernard Foley, Will Genia; Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (captain), Sekope Kepu, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Scott Fardy, Michael Hooper, David Pocock.

Replacements: Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Slipper, Greg Holmes, Dean Mumm, Ben McCalman, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale.

New Zealand: Ben Smith; Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea; Dan Carter, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Owen Franks, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Richie McCaw, Kieran Read.

Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams.

Who has the stronger squad ahead of the World Cup final at Twickenham? Give your opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
New Zeland Rugby
Rugby Union
Australia Rugby
IRB Rugby World Cup

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