New Zealand captain Richie McCaw and Dan Carter  with the Webb Ellis Cup after the All Blacks’ victory over  Australia at Twickenham. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Not like this. That’s what Dan Carter thought when writhing in agony on home soil four years ago. It can’t end at a training session on the eve of the(...)

Kieran Read and his captain Richie McCaw raise the William Webb Ellis trophy into the air at Twickenham. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Back-to-back World Cups with perhaps the greatest team of all time. How to follow that, especially on foot of five of the great All Blacks individu(...)

Sonny Bill Williams offloads to Ma’a Nonu, who shredded the Australia defence to score New Zealand’s second try of the final. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand 34 Australia 17 So sometimes sport leaves no room for argument and does do perfect finales after all. The best team of the last fou(...)

All Blacks prepare to perform the Haka before last week’s semi-final victory over South Africa at Twickenham. Photograph: Getty Images.

The top-two sides in the world. The two most complete sides in the tournament. The world’s best referee. The forecast is set fair, for Twickenham, (...)

New Zealand’s fly half Dan Carter takes part in a kicker’s training session at London’s Twickenham Stadium on the eve of the Rugby World Cup 2015 final between Australia and New Zealand. Photo: Martin Bureau/Getty Images

Anyone with even a passing interest in rugby has a Dan Carter moment. There are hundreds of examples of his thrilling brilliance, dozens of near perfe(...)

Outhalf Dan Carter, who missed the last final in 2011 through injury, training with Beauden Barrett. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

The All Blacks starting team for tomorrow’s World Cup final picked itself. That tells us as much about their state of health, the planning of Steve Ha(...)

When the word is mentioned, Keven Mealamu and Sam Whitelock inhale deeply, glance down at their feet for a second, then lock eyes with the one guarant(...)

New Zealand’s hooker Dane Coles has been compared to a young Keith Wood. Photograph: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Crotty’s try in overtime to beat Ireland in November 2013 doesn’t get any easier to watch. But it’s instructive to recall the key play and try(...)

Ben Smith of the All Blacks is spotted by Aaron Smith during a New Zealand training session at London Irish  in Bagshot. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

A World Cup cycle has increasingly come to represent the end of international careers across the rugby firmament, and for this exceptional group of Al(...)

New Zealand’s winger Nehe Milner-Skudder  evades South Africa’s flanker François Louw  during the  semi-final  of the 2015 Rugby World Cup  at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary, the first man to conquer Met Everest For the ages. The greatest team of all time (...)