Coles hails Mealamu’s influence

All Blacks hooker Dane Coles heaped praise on Keven Mealamu for helping him take his game to the next level.

Coles made his Test debut back in 2012, and has since grown in stature, pinning down the the number two jersey for the All Blacks.

The hooker's mobility along with his speed and power is rarely seen amongst front-rowers, and he believes that he won't be where he is if it wasn't for the Mealamu's words of wisdom.

"Keven's influence has been massive." said Coles.

"He's the guy I looked up to watching footie, and to be in the same team as him is huge.

"I've had countless conversations with him to try to improve my game.

"And he's probably the main reason why I am where I am now.

"I can't put into words how much he's done for me, he's a very special man and someone I've gone to countless times to improve my game."

With Australia's set piece having made great strides in recent times, the All Blacks will have their work cut out for them at the setpiece in Saturday's World Cup Final. 

Coles however, says that the All Blacks are up for the challenge. 

"They've taken their scrum to another level, so we've got to do the work during the week to counter that," said the 28-year-old.

"They've been really consistent throughout the tournament and put in a lot of work to be a dominant pack in world rugby."