Donald in All Blacks squad for Rugby World Cup Final

21 October 2011

Fly-half Stephen Donald has been named on the bench for the Rugby World Cup final against France on Sunday 23rd October, kick-off 9am (UK time).

All Blacks coach Graham Henry and his Assistant Coaches Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith have selected an unchanged starting XV for the game, following the 20-6 victory over Australia in the semi-final last weekend.

The All Blacks will again field a hugely experienced team, with 708 caps in the starting XV, with the side again captained by flanker Richie McCaw in his 103rd Test.  The only change on the bench sees Adam Thomson, who has recovered from his high ankle strain, replace Victor Vito.

Graham Henry said: "This is the biggest game of the players' lives and there is obvious excitement and anticipation at what lies ahead. To be playing in the Final of the Rugby World Cup in front of our home crowd is going to be massive and a very special occasion for the team as well as our fans. The support the team has received from New Zealanders throughout the Tournament has been incredibly humbling and we know the country will be right behind us on Sunday night."

Starting XV:

1.         Tony Woodcock

2.         Keven Mealamu

3.         Owen Franks

4.         Brad Thorn

5.         Samuel Whitelock

6.         Jerome Kaino

7.         Richie McCaw – captain  

8.         Kieran Read

9.         Piri Weepu

10.       Aaron Cruden

11.       Richard Kahui

12.       Ma'a Nonu

13.       Conrad Smith

14.       Cory Jane

15.       Israel Dagg


16.       Andrew Hore

17.       Ben Franks

18.       Ali Williams

19.       Adam Thomson

20.       Andy Ellis

21.       Stephen Donald

22.       Sonny Bill Williams



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