Rugby World Cup final: Hooper & Pocock key to outcome - Lomu

Michael Hooper (left) with David Pocock
Australia have won all six World Cup matches that they have played at Twickenham
Rugby World Cup final - New Zealand v Australia
Date: Saturday, 31 October; Kick-off: 16:00 GMT; Venue: Twickenham
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live, plus live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu fears back-rowers David Pocock and Michael Hooper will give Australia the edge in the breakdown in the World Cup final.

Lomu believes the All Blacks' ability to nullify Australia's two breakdown specialists will determine the outcome.

"If there's any team who can give New Zealand a run for their money it's Australia because they're the only team to beat them this year," said Lomu.

"Australia's speed into the breakdown will give the All Blacks a headache."

World Cup final stats
New Zealand are aiming to become the first side to win back-to-back World Cups.The side winning at half-time has won all previous seven Rugby World Cup finals.
If the All Blacks win it would be their first World Cup title outside of New Zealand.The Wallabies have won just one of their last 12 Tests against New Zealand (D2, L9).

Pocock and Hooper, both primarily open-sides, have formed an effective partnership and dominated teams at the breakdown.

Australia number eight Pocock has been instrumental in his team's progress to the final, securing 14 turnovers in the competition - five more than his closest rival, Fiji's Leone Nakarawa - despite missing the victories over Wales and Scotland.

Number eight Kieran Read has been New Zealand's most successful player at the breakdown, winning eight turnovers, with captain Richie McCaw securing six.

The Wallabies have only won one of their last 12 Tests against the All Blacks but that victory came six weeks before this World Cup, a 27-19 win in Sydney which secured Australia the Rugby Championship. New Zealand promptly won the return fixture in Auckland 41-13 the following week - against a much-changed Wallabies side.

Justin Marshall, ex-NZ scrum-half, on BBC 5 live:
"It is not what Australia got right that day (in Sydney) - they competed, they were physical and intuitive - but what they did afterwards that really concerns me. Their coach Michael Cheika was very clever. He brought in Pocock at number eight and played him with Hooper in the first game, and he then knew what it was going to take, and the players it was going to take, to win a World Cup final against the All Blacks. So he was able to say to New Zealand 'we have beaten you' and then he completely changed the team the next week and played a different style. He didn't care about the Bledisloe Cup. I thought then, Cheika was already looking in advance to the World Cup. If Australians are thinking like that, it worries me!"

Lomu, the joint-leading try scorer in World Cup history, added: "The difference at the moment is that New Zealand only have Richie McCaw in their back row, while Australia have Hooper and Pocock working together. That gives them a different dimension at the breakdown.

"The backs will get praise for scoring tries, but matches are won up front and the breakdown will be what makes the difference."

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