Rugby League

Rugby League World Cup 2013 Final: Date, Start Time, Live Stream and TV Info

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Cameron Smith the captain of Australia and Simon Mannering the captain of New Zealand face the media during  the Rugby League World Cup Final press conference at Old Trafford on November 27, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2013

Rugby league's highest honour will once again be decided between two of the Southern Hemisphere's titans this weekend when New Zealand and Australia face off at Old Trafford.

Having met back in the 2008 finale, these two nations are well acquainted with one another, but it's the Kangaroos who will be hoping for a change of the result that occurred five years ago.

This Saturday will be Australia's 13th consecutive appearance at the Rugby League World Cup final in a fixture that's sure to go down in the history books.

 

Date: Saturday, Nov. 30

Time: 2:30 p.m. local time (GMT)/9:30 a.m. ET

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester

Viewing Info: BBC One

Stream: BBC Sport website

 

Tim Sheens' side may have fallen to the Kiwis at the final hurdle in Brisbane five years ago, but head into the upcoming encounter as firm favourites after impressing greatly in this year's tournament thus far.

Since their 28-20 opening victory over England, Australia have conceded just two points in their following four fixtures while scoring 210 of their own.

With the likes of Manu Vatuvei, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Sonny Bill Williams and Shaun Johnson, Stephen Kearney's side has at its disposal some of the finest flair players in the sport right now.

However, the difference between the two outfits is that while the Kiwis are lucky to possess several key stars in their squad, it's difficult to pick out any one area in the Australian side as a weak point. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Cameron Smith the captain of Australia and Simon Mannering the captain of New Zealand hold the Rugby League World Cup during the Rugby League World Cup Final press conference at Old Trafford on November 27, 2013 in Manc
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

In 2008, it was Australia's own profligacy and tendency to waste good attacking possession that ultimately led to their shock defeat, but those same mistakes are unlikely to be made a second time around.

One extremely important return for the Kangaroos is Billy Slater at fullback, who George Riley of BBC Radio says is in line for a return to the line-up, pending a final check on match day:

 

Provided Slater is back in the team, Greg Inglis would then be allowed to move into the centres and revive his extremely talented partnership alongside Johnathan Thurston, where some serious damage could be done.

New Zealand will be hopeful of upsetting their Australasia rivals for the second time at this junction, but the ANZAC Test from April of this year was an indicator that Australia remain ahead of the curve, winning on that occasion 32-12.

In the end, however, it's often on occasions such as these that anything can unfold, but Kearney's men undoubtedly face an uphill struggle if they're to win back-to-back Rugby League World Cups.

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