This Sunday four men will sit together in the All Blacks coaching box at Eden Park and attempt to oversee a famous All Blacks Rugby World Cup final victory.

Coaches Graham Henry, Steve Hansen and Wayne Smith are well known, but the identity of the fourth man in the coaches' box has baffled many casual observers.

His name is Alistair Rogers, a 36-year-old Welshman who cuts and splices video feed of the game to produce what could be thought of as advanced highlights packages for the men beside him.

If the coaches become concerned about a particular area or trend in the game - say the midfield defence - Rogers can package together replays of all the midfield tackling in the game so far. The footage can be reviewed and instructions issued accordingly.


Rogers might also notice a pattern or problem in play himself.

"I try and not do too much, because you don't need clutter, there's a lot going on in there, and the coaches know the game better than anywhere.

"So you just be selective, but be open to anything they may ask of you during that time."

Rogers first came to New Zealand when he was 23 to play rugby for Wellington's Western Suburbs club.

After returning to Wales he played professionally as an openside flanker for the Ebbwvale Club, completed a degree in IT, and coached rugby for a time in Ireland.

When he and his Kiwi girlfriend Katie - now his wife - returned to New Zealand in 2006 he landed a role as video analyst for the Wellington rugby team.

Rogers progressed to a job at the Hurricanes and then the All Blacks soon after the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

"Everything with me and my background, it just fitted, I managed to put my experiences together and fit my job now. So I've been pretty lucky."


He was hired by assistant coach Wayne Smith, who performed the same role for the All Blacks in 1999 and has been a mentor to Rogers.

With a contracted company providing straight statistics on players such as tackles made and metres gained, during the week Rogers turns his analytical eye on both the All Blacks and opposition.

Training runs are filmed from a variety of angles and live analysis carried out by Rogers in a way similar to matches.

"A priority is to make sure vision is available to players as soon as possible. So that may be on the bus, where we travel back and they can see what they've done, it's fresh in their mind."

Still, he's conscious much of what players like electric fullback Israel Dagg do cannot and should not be coached.

"I'm a full believer in the players need to still have that flair, that individual talent. And that should never be over-analysed."

Rogers this week has pored over hours of footage on the French team.

"I think they're dangerous ... in the first 10 minutes [of the All Blacks-France pool match] we didn't touch the ball much. And we're expecting that challenge to come to the fore on Sunday."

Rogers has actually been in the coaches' box for years, but his new prominent position has fans recognising him.

"A couple of people have started to ask about how cool my job must be."