World Cup Final Preview: New Zealand v Australia

New Zealand and Australia are set to face-off in the third consecutive World Cup final between the two sides.

The Kangaroos were victorious at Old Trafford in 2000, but it is the Kiwis who return to the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ as champions after their stunning win in 2008.

With a stadium sell-out expected tomorrow’s showdown will be a record attendance for a World Cup final, and New Zealand winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck cannot wait.

“It’s fantastic to make it to the World Cup final,” said Tuivasa-Sheck. “It’s something that comes around once in a lifetime.”

For the Kiwis opposite winger, Manu Vatuvei, it has come around twice, as he has recovered from the injury that kept him out of the dramatic semi-final with England.

Coming through such a match has stood the New Zealanders in good stead according to their head coach Stephen Kearney, and to a certain extent Australia prop Matthew Scott agrees.

New Zealand had a tougher game and they showed they can grind out a win,” said Scott. “When you’re preparing for a World Cup final that’s probably the best preparation you can have.

“We have had relatively straightforward games against USA and Fiji, and I think having a tougher test would have been better for us.

“But I don’t think it will make too much of a difference, you can’t look back too much on these games, you have just got to take what you can out of it.”

New Zealand: Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Greg Eastwood (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Kieran Foran (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Alex Glenn (Brisbane Broncos), Bryson Goodwin (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Shaun Johnson (New Zealand Warriors), Sam Kasiano (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs), Kevin Locke (New Zealand Warriors), Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Simon Mannering (New Zealand Warriors), Ben Matulino (New Zealand Warriors), Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons), Frank-Paul Nuuausala (Sydney Roosters), Elijah Taylor (New Zealand Warriors), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters), Manu Vatuvei (New Zealand Warriors), Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers), Sonny Bill Williams (Sydney Roosters).

Australia: Greg Bird (Gold Coast Titans), Darius Boyd (Newcastle Knights), Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles), Cooper Cronk (Melbourne Storm), Andrew Fifita (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks), Paul Gallen (Cronulla Sutherland-Sharks), Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta Eels), Greg Inglis (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Brett Morris (St George Illawarra Dragons), Nate Myles (Gold Coast Titans), Josh Papalii (Canberra Raiders), Corey Parker (Brisbane Broncos), Matthew Scott (North Queensland Cowboys), Billy Slater (Melbourne Storm), Cameron Smith (Melbourne Storm), James Tamou (North Queensland Cowboys), Brent Tate (North Queensland Cowboys), Sam Thaiday (Brisbane Broncos), Johnathan Thurston (North Queensland Cowboys).

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