Rugby World Cup All Blacks unchanged for World Cup final

Steve Hansen has kept faith with the New Zealand team that beat South Africa, naming an unchanged side for the Rugby World Cup final.

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New Zealand have named an unchanged side for Saturday's Rugby World Cup final against Australia.

The All Blacks - who are aiming to become the first team to win successive World Cups - squeezed past South Africa at Twickenham last week to book their place in the final.

And head coach Steve Hansen has opted to name the same XV that started that encounter, with wing Nehe Milner-Skudder passed fit to retain his place after being hampered by a calf problem against the Springboks.

"We've had a great preparation so far this week at Pennyhill; the boys are feeling really fresh and energised," said Hansen.

"We're building towards Saturday's match with a growing sense of determination and real excitement and I couldn't be happier with where we are at.

"We knew we would have to earn the right to progress through the tournament so being in the final is very satisfying in its own right, as it's the first Rugby World Cup final an All Blacks team has made in the UK.

"But the ultimate goal has always been to win it, so we are exactly where we need to be to try and achieve that.

"Mental fortitude and physical endurance, together with skill execution and sheer desire, will be the key ingredients come Saturday."

New Zealand's vastly experienced matchday 23 boasts a combined total of 1,339 Test caps.

Skipper Richie McCaw and fly-half Dan Carter, who are both expected to retire from international rugby at the conclusion of the tournament, are among four players with more than 100 appearances to their name.

Australia, winners against Argentina in the final four, are set to name their team later on Thursday.

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.

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