It may have been the presence of Kiwi war hero Willie Apiata at training the past fortnight but national selector Grant Fox has revealed the All Blacks have adopted a "who dares wins" theme to propel them to victory over Australia.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB sports host Tony Veitch today, Fox said the All Blacks were not about to die wondering in tomorrow morning's World Cup final, planning to take the game to the Wallabies from the outset. And Fox, an All Blacks selector, expected the opposition would reciprocate, creating what could be a "test match for the ages".
"You don't want to go into a game like this and freeze and not play, because you'll be bitterly disappointed at the end of it all," Fox said. "Because, if you do that, you're not going to get the outcome you want. There's a little bit of who dares wins, and we're prepared to dare.
"Both these sides, we've shown through clashes throughout the ages that we're not going to sit back and wait for the other team to come to us - we're going to take the game to the opposition. That'll be no different on Sunday."
Apiata, who won a Victoria Cross for his acts of bravery in Afghanistan, has been a constant presence at All Blacks training and the team hotel since the New Zealanders arrived in London for the semifinal and final weeks of the tournament. His presence has probably helped shape the 'who dares wins' philosophy.
All Blacks officials discouraged media from approaching or talking to Apiata and would not reveal whether he has spoken to the team or has any official or unofficial role with the team.
However, television footage over the past fortnight showed the 43-year-old mixing freely with Richie McCaw and the players after training and there is speculation he may present the team with their match jerseys before the final tomorrow.
McCaw later told the press that Apiata was a "special New Zealander".
"He's a good man to have around and the boys enjoyed hearing a few of his stories and calming words. If you talk about being in pressure environments, he's probably been in environments that are a damn sight more pressurised than we end up with."
Apiata, a former corporal in the SAS, is also a bit of a lucky charm. He was also involved into the All Blacks camp before they beat France in the 2011 World Cup final and again in the lead-up to their last clash with Australia - the memorable Bledisloe Cup defence at Eden Park over two months ago.
Fox also revealed that his contract as a national selector has been extended through until the end of 2017, an "easy decision" that was made with an eye on the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour.
"Lions series are a rare beast," he said. "The World Cup comes along once every four years but the Lions come around once every 12 years. I'm not saying it's more important but it's different, because it's a rare opportunity. That will be an exciting series to be part of."
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said the bulk of the current All Blacks coaching and management team has been contracted until at least 2017 and some beyond.
"There will be one or two who move on after this but the core are staying together for a crack at the Lions and even beyond that," he said.