New Zealand Georgia 2015 Rugby World Cup
New Zealand have already qualified for the quarterfinals of the 2015 Rugby World CupReuters

A place in the quarterfinals assured, New Zealand will look for the icing on the group stage cake when they face-off against Tonga in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool C match at St. James' Park on Friday.

The All Blacks, expectedly, have booked their place in the quarterfinals, and another win will just confirm them that little bit more as the favourites for the tournament.

Defending a World Cup title is never easy, and there have been instances when New Zealand have struggled – they made 19 handling errors and had 14 turnovers against Georgia in the last game – but the All Blacks have always found a way through, comfortably eventually.

Against Tonga as well, no seismic result is expected with the All Blacks going in as the overwhelming favourites, as coach Steve Hansen looks to "freshen things up" a little, with half an eye already on the quarterfinals.

"This week we've looking to freshen things up and really concentrate on the key parts of our game that we expect will deliver a quality 80-minute performance," Hansen said.

The New Zealand coach was also quick to allay fears over an injury to the captain Richie McCaw, who will sit out this final pool match owing to a thigh injury picked up in the big win over Georgia.

"If we were playing a final, he would be fine, but we are just not prepared to take any risks with anyone that is not 100%," Hansen said of his All Blacks captain.

"He got a bang on his thigh and it's just really sore when he stretches out at top-medium pace, so it is just not worth risking it.

"We've had plenty of gasps from home before, but we're OK with it and the people that are anxious about it don't need to be anxious. If this was the quarterfinal, he would be playing.

"We've got enough depth to be able to say, 'hey, we don't have to risk people if they're not 100%.'"

This match is important for Tonga in that a win against the All Blacks will confirm their place in the next World Cup – in 2019 in Japan. However, the bigger concern for the team, post this tournament, is the age of the current squad, with the Polynesian kingdom set to go onto the pitch against New Zealand with the second oldest ever lineup, having already played with the oldest earlier in the World Cup.

"We are only just starting to scratch the surface. This is just the beginning of an era, not the end," Tonga coach Mana 'Otai told the Rugby World Cup's official website.

"We have a group that's not about just themselves, but wanting to inspire our youngsters to come and play for their country. Good things take their time, so for us it is continuation more than the end or beginning of an era.

"If we can show to our people that they can take pride in representing their country through rugby that can keep them from the wrong side of the tracks."

Teams: New Zealand: Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Waisake Naholo, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith; Kieran Read, Sam Cane, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Ben Franks, Brodie Retallick, Liam Messam, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams.

Tonga: Vungakoto Lilo, Telusa Veainu, Siale Piutau, Latiume Fosita, Fetu'u Vainikolo, Kurt Morath, Sonatane Takulua; Viliami Ma'afu, Nili Latu, Sione Kalamafoni, Joseph Tuineau, Tukulua Lokotui, Halani 'Aulika, Elvis Taione, Soane Tonga'uiha.

Replacements: Paula Ngauamo, Sona Taumalolo, Sila Puafisi, Sitiveni Mafi, Jack Ram, Samisoni Fisilau, Viliami Tahitua, Will Helu.

Where to Watch Live

The Pool C match between New Zealand and Tonga is scheduled for an 8 pm BST (12.30 am IST, 3 pm ET) start. The RWC match will be shown live on TV in India on Sony Six.

Sky Sport will show the All Blacks vs Tonga match live in New Zealand, while the action can also be watched via live streaming on Sky Go NZ. Audience in Australia can watch the action live on Fox Sports 2, with the live stream option on Foxtel Play.

Viewers in the UK and Ireland can watch the match live on ITV1, with the live stream option on ITV Player. The 2015 Rugby World Cup will be shown live in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa on SuperSport, while the live stream option is on SuperSport Live Video.

Audience in the USA can watch the rugby World Cup game live on Universal Sports, while the game can also be live streamed on Universal Sports Online. Viewers in Canada can watch the game live on TSN, while the action can also be live streamed on TSN TV.

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