New Zealand and France will bring the curtain down on the 2011 World Cup when they play the final at Eden Park here on Sunday.
Below we look at how the two sides stack-up against one another.
New Zealand v France match-ups:
Israel Dagg, Cory Jane, Richard Kahui (NZL) v Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Alexis Palisson (FRA)
Dagg has been one of the tournament’s outstanding players, showing electric pace from full-back at the heart of many an All Black counter-attack, while Jane and Kahui are both proven try-scorers. In Clerc, France have the leading try scorer of the World Cup, while Medard offers an exciting option from 15.
Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu (NZL) v Aurelien Rougerie, Maxime Mermoz (FRA)
Smith and Nonu are the acknowledged dream midfield combination of world rugby, mixing steely defence with silky attacking skills, keeping the likes of Sonny Bill Williams on the bench. Rougerie, a converted wing who likes space, and Mermoz will likely have their hands full containing the All Blacks duo.
Piri Weepu, Aaron Cruden (NZL) v Dimitri Yachvili, Morgan Parra (FRA)
An unsual All Blacks pairing after tournament-ending groin injuries to Dan Carter and Colin Slade. Cruden seems to be thriving with all the experience around him and Weepu has taken on goal-kicking duties. For the French, Parra has successfully made the transition from his usual scrum-half spot to number 10, with Yachvili directing things at half-back to set up an intriguing clash.
Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (capt), Jerome Kaino (NZL) v Imanol Harinordoquy, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir (capt) (FRA)
The two captains are leaders of loose trios that have consistently impressed during this World Cup. Kaino in particular has been a rock for the All Blacks pack, while McCaw has once again shown all his guile at breakdown time. Bonnaire and Harinordoquy have upped their work rates in the knockout phase, and Dusautoir remains one of the hardest-working tacklers in world rugby.
Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock (NZL) v Lionel Nallet, Pascal Pape (FRA)
With France using flanker Julien Bonnaire as their preferred lineout target, Nallet and Pape are secondary jumpers but well primed to attack All Blacks ball. Thorn will be bowing out at the age of 36, after an impressive career in league and union that has seen him playing professional rugby for close to 20 years.
Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Tony Woodcock (NZL) v Nicolas Mas, William Servat, Jean-Baptiste Poux (FRA)
This contest should be fairly even come scrum-time, the experience of Woodcock and Mealamu mirrored by that of Mas and Servat. Both hookers (Melamu and Servat) are quality throwers-in of the ball at the lineout and can be dynamic, if not destructive, around the park.