The 10th Rugby World Cup final will be played on Saturday and for the seventh time one of New Zealand or South Africa will walk away with the trophy.

The All Blacks lost their opener to France, but have since moved through the gears, beating Argentina 44-6 in the semis and will be aiming to add to their victories of 1987, 2011 and 2015.

Holders South Africa also triumphed in 1995 and 2007 and have been battered in recent weeks, but still emerged on the right side of 29-28 and 16-15 scorelines against France and England, respectively.

They beat the All Blacks 35-7 in August, but that result looks to be firmly in the past and, after the mirth that followed, it could be the Kiwis who have the last laugh here.

New Zealand vs South Africa Prediction

  • New Zealand by 1-12 points inclusive @ 9/5
  • Will Jordan Anytime Tryscorer @ EVS

Team news

New Zealand have made two changes to their matchday squad, with Brodie Retallick returning to the XV to replace Sam Whitelock, who will become the first man to play in three Rugby World Cup finals if he comes off the bench.

The other change sees Nepo Laulala replacing Fletcher Newell as the replacement tighthead prop and will have the unenviable task of facing South Africa powerhouse Ox Nche in the latter stages.

Aaron Smith, Whitelock, Retallick, Sam Cane and Beauden Barrett are the remaining members of the matchday 23 who won the 2015 final against Australia.

South Africa have named Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard as their half-backs, replacing Cobus Reinach and Manie Libbok, who drop out of the 23 altogether.

Prop Trevor Nyakane comes in for the injured Vincent Koch as tighthead cover and is part of a seven-one split on the bench, with Willie le Roux the only back.

Of the team who started the final in 2019, ten are named in Saturday’s run-on XV.

Match odds

New Zealand are the 4/5 favourites in the Match Winner market, with South Africa 5/4 and the Tie 18/1.

The Handicap 3-Way is -2, with New Zealand -2 available at 20/21, South Africa +2 5/6 and Tie +2 22/1, while the Kiwis’ Beauden Barrett, the Last Tryscorer in the 2015 final win over Australia, is 20/1 to repeat that feat.

New Zealand by 1-12 points inclusive @ 9/5

The pair have met twice this year, with New Zealand winning 35-20 in Auckland and the Boks triumphing 35-7 at Twickenham.

It looks sure to be tighter at the Stade de France, with South Africa’s selection aimed at a kicking game, with them ready to back their defence.

In contrast, New Zealand will feel they can punch holes in the Bok defensive line and their tally of 48 tries scored is 18 more than France, who are second in that metric, and 21 superior to South Africa.

Fatigue is sure to be a factor for the holders and New Zealand’s fresher legs could see them secure a grinding victory.

Will Jordan Anytime Tryscorer @ EVS

Of New Zealand’s 48 tries, Will Jordan has grabbed eight of them, including a hat-trick against Argentina.

That haul has seen him draw level with compatriots Jonah Lomu and Julian Savea, as well as South African Bryan Habana, as the only players to go over eight times in a single Rugby World Cup.

Questions over Jordan’s ability under the high ball have seen him identified as a potential weakness in New Zealand’s defence, but with 31 tries in 30 Tests, few can match him with ball in hand.

After touching down against Saturday’s opponents in the summer, history could beckon for the 25-year-old.

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