Cullen looked good in tests that were not of the highest importance. I think we already can guess what would have happened to him when it came to RWC playoffs. The opposition would not have made many mistakes and Cullens speed and agility would have been closed down. Therefore I would choose Latham for the games that needed to be won. Cullen was the best runner from deep but not the best Fullback.
With Serge Blanco we have a fullback that was better than the both of them. He could do it all and at a very high level. He was like Latham but with better coordination and style lol!
Haha...don't get me wrong...I love Cullen! But if I had a choice on whether to choose him or Latham to win a tournament I would choose the Australian Latham (yes I know he is Aussie lol!). This is why I have supported the Crusaders for eight years instead of the flashier Blues. Some players look great on attack as individuals but actually add less to the TEAM environment. When an individuals skill is closed down as most top rugby players are when they cancel each other out at the highest level the next step is how they add to the team...it is here that Cullen as good as he was failed. 1996 in South Africa first test in the 3 test series (not the Tri nations series) he did not pass but chose to go for the line and got caught from behind thus bombing a try. He almost bombed the match winning try that year in the game in Brisbane against Australia when he stepped inside Gregan instead of passing out to an unmarked Wilson and got tripped up. That year realised we had a brilliant fullback in Cullen....but I also realised that with individual brilliance he had ot developed or had the need to develop when he was going through the ranks of playing as a team. After his knee injury and operation Cullen lost a lot of his pace but unlike good outside backs who lose pace (Umaga, Burke, etc) he did not have other skills sufficient enough to learn to use the players around him. He had one gun (and a big one at that) and when it no longer worked he had nothing else as a player. The Hurricanes gave him his release as he had become surplus to requirements (the other new star Caucaunibuca started to show Cullen up) so he went overseas but with only one damaged gun firing he simply didn't fire a shot up north and faded away into obscurity.
Latham on the other hand has lost some of his pace but because he has so many other weapons in his arsenal he will continue to be of value for a little while longer.
Ok well I thought I would watch some Christian Cullen stuff....yep...sure enough...there are tries he scored that can only be rivalled by Caucaunibuca....Latham had nothing on him when it cam to scoring.
Don't know what Gay Guy's going on about, Latham is hardly Mr Clutch (He did nothing in the 2003 RWC and they got knocked out in the quarter finals to England in 2007, can't recal him ever coming up big while Cullen was immense all the way through the Springbok series in 96), he was a bust on the international scene for the first 5 of so year's of his career and was the perfect definition of a flatrack bully. On the other hand, Cullen was always there, or there abouts until he blew out his knee and got screwed over by Mitchell.
Personally, I'd rather have a player who was at the top of his game and was the best of the world from age 20 onwards rather than a player who bums around for 5 years before finally getting his act together on the international stage.