The Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham today marks the end of an era for the All Blacks with the likes of Dan Carter, Keven Mealamu, Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith playing their final games for their nation. Skipper Richie McCaw may also call it a day, but will the Kiwis’ skipper go out on a high as New Zealand seek to retain their crown?

Aussies may wave goodbye to star names

Australia may also wave goodbye to a clutch of top stars, with the likes of Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Drew Mitchell all believed to be considering calling it a day on the international stage.

Head to head between All Blacks and Wallabies

Although it's the first time Australia and New Zealand have clashed in the Rugby World Cup final itself, the two have played each other a colossal 154 times in internationals. The Kiwis lead with 105 victories compared to the Aussies 42 successes. The two nations couldn't be separated on seven further occasions.

Recent form would suggest that the New Zealanders will be the strong favourites. Out of the last twelve matches, the Wallabies have just the one victory, although that was only back in August of this year. Consequently, there should be no great 'complex' for their squad to overcome come the final.

South Africa clinched third place

Last night saw the Springboks clinch the bronze medal at the tournament, beating Argentina 24-13.

They were the dominant force from the start and held a commanding 16-0 lead by the interval, thanks to wing JP Pietersen's try and the steady accumulation of kicking points from the consistent Handre Pollard.

The Boks stretched their advantage still further after the break, when Eben Etzebeth added another score. Argentina had briefly threatened a comeback when Nicolas Sanchez had narrowed the gap with a successful kick, but Etzebeth's try effectively finished the match as a contest.

Argentina at least had the consolation of a late try for Juan Pablo Orlandi to round their highly encouraging World Cup campaign off in style. In truth though, it was far too little too late for the Pumas on the night.

Habana remains tied with Lomu

Bryan Habana failed in his efforts to overtake Jonah Lomu and remains tied with the legendary Kiwi on the all-time Rugby World Cup try-scoring charts with 15 tries.

As in previous games he remained slightly edgy at crucial points in the game, when a number of half-chances presented themselves to him. He still holds an admirable record despite the frustration that he and his team-mates no doubt felt on the night.

Australia’s Mitchell sits tantalisingly just one score behind those two greats of the game with 14 tries. Could he match or even go top himself in the final?

It promises to be an intriguing and no doubt bruising encounter as the top two teams on the planet on current world standings go head to head for the Webb Ellis Cup.