Replacement prop Pauliasi Manu spent just three days as an All Black but walked away with a World Cup winner's medal following yesterday's tournament final win over the Wallabies.

Manu flew to London as standby cover last week after Crockett was forced to withdraw from the squad with a groin injury suffered in New Zealand's quarterfinal win over France on October 17.

The uncapped 27-year-old joined the squad in case there were any further late injuries and was only confirmed as an official All Blacks squad member early on October 29, just hours before New Zealand announced their 23-man-squad for the Twickenham final.

Despite not seeing any game time and only taking part in a couple of training sessions the Chiefs front-rower was rightly awarded a World Cup winner's medal along with the rest of the squad.


His Chiefs teammate and loose-forward Liam Messam saw just 16 minutes of game time throughout the tournament, the least of any All Black, while lock Sam Whitelock played the most, after getting through 517.

After watching his teammates dispatch Australia 34-17, Manu proudly joined in the All Blacks post-match celebratory haka with his winner's medal hanging around his neck.

Manu was picked for Auckland in 2008 and three years later started for the Blues. In two seasons he played only five matches before being delisted by coach John Kirwan and signing a two year deal with the Rebels. However when he failed his pre-season medical in Melbourne because of problems with his neck which restricted his medical insurance and his contract was terminated.

The Rugby World Cup has been won and the first night of celebrating is over, the All Blacks thoughts are now turning towards home and seeing family and friends and of course the New Zealand fans.

Not long after the Chiefs lost prop Josh Hohneck to injury for the season and the franchise signed Manu as his replacement.

That pattern continued at the World Cup when Manu was called up as cover for the loosehead prop Wyatt Crockett and was then officially drafted into the squad when Crockett failed a final week fitness test.