The All Blacks' team to play the Springboks is here - and so is NZME's new video show discussing all the big issues with all the big names.

The first episode of Beyond The Game - which you can watch above - covers off all the talking points from the team naming for Saturday's much-anticipated showdown.

Our panel of experts all chime in on the team, with Buck Shelford speaking with Nigel Yalden in Japan, Michaela Blyde opining from Tauranga with Cheree Kinnear, and Leon MacDonald sharing his thoughts with Alex Chapman from the Auckland studios.

Shelford describes what the atmosphere has been like in Japan ahead of the World Cup getting underway tomorrow, while Yalden reacts after attending the press conferences in Tokyo, and provides an excellent stat about just how strong the All Blacks have been at full strength.

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The show includes reaction from All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and captain Kieran Read from those press conferences, as well as World Cup-winning coach Sir Graham Henry's thoughts on the All Blacks' chances of a three-peat.

Buck Shelford, Michaela Blyde and Leon MacDonald are NZME's experts on Beyond The Game. Photos / Greg Bowker, Photosport, Getty
Buck Shelford, Michaela Blyde and Leon MacDonald are NZME's experts on Beyond The Game. Photos / Greg Bowker, Photosport, Getty

Blyde discusses what she expects from the tempo of the game and how elite athletes cope with high-pressure encounters, while MacDonald and Shelford make their picks of which teams will make the quarter-finals, and weigh in on who will win tomorrow's crucial opener.

Beyond The Game will air all throughout the World Cup, with nine shows set to air at 6am the day after every All Blacks pool match, as well as their likely quarter-final, both semifinals, the bronze medal match, and the final.

Shelford and Blyde will also be part of NZME's extensive offering of expert columnists for the tournament in Japan. The pair will join Melodie Robinson and Andrew Mehrtens in providing a player's perspective on the tournament, while NZME's established array of agenda-setting analysts will extend their rugby coverage for the pinnacle event.

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