Defending champions South Africa expect Saturday's Rugby World Cup final against "greatest foes" New Zealand to be a "grind" as both teams eye what would be a record fourth tournament title.

The Springboks and All Blacks share an unparalleled rivalry in the sport and have reached the final at the Stade de France thanks largely to dramatic, respective quarterfinal victories over France and Ireland, both of whom were fancied to make the latter stages.

After northern hemisphere teams finished atop all four pools, hopes were high that the Webb Ellis Cup would go the way of Europe for the first time since England in 2003.