Travis Murao: What to Expect From the Teams at the 2010WWRC Part 4: New Zealand and Australia

In this special, double-edition of our series we'll travel to the southern hemisphere to take a look at Australia and New Zealand!

Australia is currently the #2-ranked team in the world for good reason. They have arguably the best player in the game today on their roster and Coach Brad Dubberley always has them ready to perform at their best. Look for Australia to keep the ball on the ground in Ryley Batt's hands.

Some Players to Watch Are:

Ryley Batt: Ryley is considered by many to be the best player in the game today. He combines blazing speed with excellent agility and a keen rugby mind. Look for Ryley to take on double and triple teams!
Fun Fact: Ryley was first recruited when he was found bombing around the streets of Sydney on a skateboard!

Naz Erdim: Naz is the veteran .5 of Australia who has gained international notoriety for his "fish hook" maneuver. Watch for Naz to sneak behind unsuspecting high-pointers and "hook" their back wheels with his specially designed front-end.
Fun Fact: Naz is fluent in all the official languages of Australia!

Steve Porter: Porter is Australia's veteran 2.5 player who was recently re-classified as a 2.0. Look for him to make an impact on Australia's top line with his long chest passes.
Fun Fact: Porter has the largest head (volume and surface area) in international rugby!

Next, we turn our attention to the Kiwis! New Zealand is the #5-ranked team in the world; they play a ball-control game and rely on their experience and patience to win games. You'll have a hard time finding anyone who has anything bad to say about the Kiwis as they are possibly the nicest team attending Worlds. Support the Wheelblacks by buying one of their t-shirts online!

Some Players to Watch Are:

Dan Buckingham: Dan is New Zealand's top 3.0 player and is one of their veteran team-leaders. He plays a controlled game, preferring to use smart passes and subtle jukes.
Fun Fact: Dan played a season in Quebec where he discovered poutine!

David Klinkhammer: "Ze Klinkhammer" is one of New Zealand's up-and-coming rugby prodigies. He is a 1.5 with excellent speed and a good two-handed pass.
Fun Fact: Don't be fooled by his baby-face, ladies. Klinkhammer is 36 years old!

Curtis Palmer: Curtis is perhaps the best ginger player of all time! He has good speed, excellent passing range, and years of rugby experience at his disposal.
Fun Fact: Curtis is the star of New Zealand's hit tv show "1, 2, 3, Palmer!"