ABs v Japan: The stats

The rugby trainspotter's guide to New Zealand's World Cup clash with Japan in Hamilton tomorrow.

Head-to-head

- New Zealand and Japan have played once before, with New Zealand winning 145-17 at Rugby World Cup 1995.
- New Zealand's 145 points in that match is the highest score in a RWC match.
- New Zealand's 128-point winning margin in that match is the second-biggest win in the RWC, second only to Australia's 142-point win over Namibia in 2003, and is the All Blacks' biggest Test win.
- That match also produced RWC records for most points in a match by one player (45, Simon Culhane, NZL), most tries in a match by one player (six, Marc Ellis, NZL) and most conversions in a match by one player (20, Simon Culhane).
- Hiroyuki Kajihara (two tries) and Keiji Hirose (two conversions and one penalty) are the only Japanese players to score points against New Zealand.
- Ten All Blacks have scored points against Japan, six of them have scored at least 10 points, three have scored a hat-trick of tries.

New Zealand

- Ranked No 1 in the world, a position they have held more than all other nations combined.
- New Zealand are the only team to have won all of their Rugby World Cup pool matches (21).
- Their average winning margin in pool matches is 50.8 points, more than any other team.
- New Zealand are the highest-scoring team in Rugby World Cup history, having scored 1,752 points in their 37 matches, an average of 47.4 points per game.
- New Zealand have scored 238 Rugby World Cup tries, 81 more than second-placed Australia.
- New Zealand have scored at least one try in their past 90 tests and in 96 of the 97 tests coached by Graham Henry.
- Graham Henry's 84.5 per cent winning record coaching New Zealand is the best for any coach of a major nation in the professional era. His predecessor John Mitchell's record of 82.1 per cent is the only other above 80 per cent.
- New Zealand have lost to only South Africa, Australia and France during Henry's reign and have a winning record against all three.

Japan

- Ranked No 13 in the world. Their best ranking is 12th which they recently held for four weeks in July and August.
- John Kirwan is one of three head coaches making a record third appearance as a coach in the World Cup. The others are New Zealand's Graham Henry and Irishman Eddie O'Sullivan, who is now coaching USA. Kirwan also led Japan in 2007 and Italy in 2003.
- Kirwan was one of the try scorers in the first RWC final in 1987, when New Zealand beat France 29-9.
- Japan have conceded 1,022 points in RWC matches, more than any other team. Romania, who have conceded the next most, have let in 804 points.
- Japan is the only nation from Asia that has participated in the Rugby World Cup.
- Japan's last match of RWC 2007 was a 12-12 draw against Canada. That result halted a 13-match losing streak, the longest in World Cup history.
- Japan's run of 15 RWC matches without a victory is the longest winless streak in the history of the competition.
- In their 21 RWC matches, Japan have suffered 19 defeats and recorded only one win, a 52-8 blowout of Zimbabwe in Belfast on 14 October 1991. Japan have suffered more defeats (19) than any other country at the Rugby World Cup.
- Japan hold the RWC record for most last -place finishes in their group (four).

The venue

- Waikato Stadium, known as Rugby Park before its redevelopment, hosted one match during Rugby World Cup 1987 with Fiji beating Argentina 28-9.
- Will host three matches at RWC 2011, this Pool A match and two of Wales's Pool D matches.
- New Zealand have played eight tests at the ground, winning seven by an average margin of 39 points. Their one loss was to South Africa in the 2009 Tri Nations, 32-29.

The line-ups

- Richie McCaw will become the first All Black to play 100 Test matches. He will be the 19th player from all nations to reach 100 tests. Mils Muliaina will play his 99th test for New Zealand.
- Conrad Smith will be the 40th All Black to play 50 tests.
- Brad Thorn will remain the oldest All Black to play at the Rugby World Cup at 36 years and 225 days, extending the record he set against Tonga last Friday.
- Ma'a Nonu and Conrad Smith start together for the 31st time in the centres, extending their All Blacks record.
- Japan's Hirotoki Onozawa plays his 10th RWC match to break the Japan record for most matches in the competition.
- Onozawa has scored one try at RWC 2003 and one at RWC 2007. Fourteen players have scored tries in three different World Cups. Onozawa can join that group.
- Japan captain Takashi Kikutani has scored 23 test tries, second among RWC 2011 forwards behind Russia's Vyacheslav Grachev (31). Since the last World Cup Kikutani has scored 21 test tries, joint highest in the world with Wales's Shane Williams.
- Japan's starting XV includes two New Zealand-born players, with another on the bench.
- Andy Ellis is in New Zealand's starting XV. If Shaun Webb comes on as a replacement for Japan it will be first RWC encounter between a Webb and an Ellis.

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