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All Blacks ready for bone-cruncher with Tonga

 New Zealand All Blacks captain Richie McCaw writes his autograph on a rugby ball for a child during a fan event held ahead of the seven-week Rugby Wo...
 New Zealand All Black captain Richie McCaw runs past assistant coach Wayne Simth, right, during a training session in Auckland, New Zealand, Monday, ...
 Tonga's captain Finau Maka, left, watches a maori warrior perform a challenge during their official welcoming ceremony at the Rugby World Cup in Auck...
 Tongan player Painu Hehea, center, signs a flag for a young fan during an official welcoming ceremony at the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand...
 Maori warriors perform a challange during the official welcoming ceremony  for Tongan team at the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday, ...
 The names of the previous winners of the Rugby World Cup are shown engraved on to the Webb Ellis Cup at a press conference at Eden Park in Auckland, ...
 New Zealand rugby player Sonny Bill Williams, right, stretches with physiotherapist Peter Gallagher during training in Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesd...
 New Zealand rugby player Andrew Hore center, passes the ball to teammate Jimmy Cowan, right, as Victor Vito looks on during training in Auckland, New...
 New Zealand All Blacks coach Graham Henry arrives for training in Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. The All Blacks will play Tonga in ...

New Zealand WCup Rugby World Cup All Blacks

New Zealand All Blacks captain Richie McCaw writes his autograph on a rugby ball for a child during a fan event held ahead of the seven-week Rugby Wo...

New Zealand WCUP Rugby World Cup

New Zealand All Black captain Richie McCaw runs past assistant coach Wayne Simth, right, during a training session in Auckland, New Zealand, Monday, ...

New Zealand WCUP Rugby World Cup Tonga

Tonga's captain Finau Maka, left, watches a maori warrior perform a challenge during their official welcoming ceremony at the Rugby World Cup in Auck...

New Zealand WCUP Rugby World Cup Tonga

Tongan player Painu Hehea, center, signs a flag for a young fan during an official welcoming ceremony at the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand...

New Zealand WCUP Rugby World Cup Tonga

Maori warriors perform a challange during the official welcoming ceremony for Tongan team at the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday, ...

New Zealand WCUP Rugby World Cup

The names of the previous winners of the Rugby World Cup are shown engraved on to the Webb Ellis Cup at a press conference at Eden Park in Auckland, ...

New Zealand WCUP Rugby World Cup

New Zealand rugby player Sonny Bill Williams, right, stretches with physiotherapist Peter Gallagher during training in Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesd...

New Zealand WCUP Rugby World Cup

New Zealand rugby player Andrew Hore center, passes the ball to teammate Jimmy Cowan, right, as Victor Vito looks on during training in Auckland, New...

New Zealand WCUP Rugby World Cup

New Zealand All Blacks coach Graham Henry arrives for training in Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. The All Blacks will play Tonga in ...

When the All Blacks were last sighted at the World Cup, eyes were glazed and faces expressed shock as they tried to comprehend their earliest exit in tournament history.
Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, both replaced during that 2007 quarterfinal, were forced to watch from the stands in Millennium Stadium as France rallied to upset a crumbling New Zealand side.
Four years later, McCaw, Carter and Co and the same coaches reappear under lights on Friday in their revamped Eden Park fortress to begin a new quest to banish those haunting memories when they open the seventh World Cup against a fearless Tonga.


Updated : 2021-03-07 08:16 GMT+08:00