New Zealand appears to have won an early psychological war over Australia with Princes Harry and William and Duchess Kate set to watch the World Cup final in the New Zealand box at London's Twickenham Stadium tomorrow morning.
Steve Tew, the boss of New Zealand Rugby, did his best to keep secret which celebrity guests had accepted invitations to the Kiwi box but was goaded into hinting the All Blacks had secured a royal trifecta in an interview with Newstalk ZB sports host Tony Veitch.
"There's a couple of things you are not allowed to talk about in the lead-up to a Rugby World Cup final and one of them is 'how many royals are in your box?', and I know the answer to that question (but) if I tell you I'll have to shoot you," Tew said jokingly.
Veitch then asked him if we would prefer William and Kate over rugby-mad Prince Harry.
"Without wanting to take your life early, Tony, we might end up with both of them," he replied. "I'm just speculating. We had Granddad (Prince Philip) there last week."
Prince Philip is expected to be under pressure to be in the Wallaby box given the Duke of Edinburgh was recently, and controversially, made a Knight of the Order of Australia.
Prince Harry, the patron of English rugby but also a long-time All Blacks admirer, will also present the World Cup trophy to the winning team tomorrow morning.
Older brother William and his wife Kate have attended several World Cup matches during the tournament. Also expected to be in the New Zealand box to watch the final is Kiwi war hero Willie Apiata, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his courage in the Afghanistan war and has been a guest of the All Blacks over the past week.
Tew acknowledged the other off-limits topic ahead of the final is what is planned for a welcome home for the team.
"I can't tell you what we are doing back in New Zealand, whether we win or lose. All I would say is that we are a pretty organised outfit and we have some things in hand either scenario but they're not things the team would want us to talk about because the last thing we need is (Wallaby coach Michael) Cheika to have a little headline on the front of the Aussie changing rooms tomorrow morning when they run out."