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Rugby World Cup Final: Legend Jonah Lomu fears impact of David Pocock and Michael Hooper

By Duncan Bech

Published 29/10/2015

Australia's flanker David Pocock
Australia's flanker David Pocock

New Zealand great Jonah Lomu fears David Pocock and Michael Hooper will give Australia a critical edge at the breakdown in Saturday's World Cup final.

Pocock has established himself as the sport's most influential player after plundering 14 turnovers in the competition. The No.8 has amassed the total despite missing the victories over Wales and Scotland with a calf problem.

Australia's dominance of the breakdown has been founded on the combination of Pocock and Hooper, who are both primarily opensides, and Lomu knows that New Zealand's ability to nullify the arch-poachers will be key.

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

"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.

"Their speed into the breakdown will give the All Blacks a real headache. It will be interesting to see how they deal with that.

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

"Pocock and Hooper are a real threat to the All Blacks."

Belfast Telegraph

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