England's only World Cup-winning captain says the 2015 tournament deserves a spectacular open and flowing final between the All Blacks and Wallabies.
Martin Johnson, skipper of England's triumphant 2003 tournament win in Australia and also coach of the team at the last World Cup in New Zealand four years ago, told Newstalk ZB host Tony Veitch that he felt the current event had been a spectacular success despite the host nation's failure to make it past the pool stages.
All it needed now was "a cracking final which hopefully we are going to get".
Johnson, who played for the New Zealand Under 20s team early in his career before returning to England to become a test legend, said he had been encouraged by the atmosphere and crowds throughout England for tournament matches.
"We need a great final, that would top it off," he said.
"Generally World Cup finals, when you look at football, they're not memorable games. I think it will be a great tournament whatever (happens) but it would be nice for both teams to go out and (put on a) show because they are those sorts of teams. It's their natural game to play that way and it would be great to see a real three-tries-to-two sort of game.
"I think these are the two best teams of the tournament. I don't know what the odds are but I think New Zealand would be the favourites."
Johnson said earlier in the week he had favoured Australia but was now revising his view.
"Honestly, after the semis, I had this weird thought that Aussie might nick it. But as I sort of rationalised is this week, I've wondered why I thought that. The Aussie team is still a little bit unknown because they haven't got a huge great run of form like New Zealand has coming into this. I think it's just set up for a cracker.
"I think what we all want to see is a cracking game. Finals are obviously going to be tense because they're finals. But the last two or three (finals), particularly the last two, have been very cagey affairs. I think people are anticipating and hoping both teams will be a little bit unshackled from the pressure which is easy to say when you're not playing. There hasn't been two tries in a World Cup final since the first one."
Johnson admitted England's failure at this Cup had been galling.
"How many English players would make a World XV? I think I know the answer to that question and it's not good," he said. "England needs to develop some world class players."