NZ Kiwis coach David Kidwell has named the same 17 that took the field against Australia in Perth for the opening clash of the Four Nations against England at John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield.
Kidwell and his coaching staff have put the full squad through their paces since arriving in England last Thursday.
“I’m really happy with how the boys have trained. We understand the challenge that’s ahead of us and we need to be at our best,” he says.
“In Perth, a lot of our guys hadn’t played for a long period of time. The result wasn’t what we wanted, but all the players were better off for the run and we will look to build from that.”
Greg Eastwood (Kiwi #737) is the only change to the 19-man squad named to face the home nation, replacing young Canberra Raiders back rower Joseph Tapine.
“It’s no secret this game is going to be won up front,” says Kidwell. “Both teams have strong forward packs and we need our middle men to lead the way.”
The test will be played in front of a sold-out stadium at 2.30pm Saturday, October 29 (UK time)/2.30am Sunday, October 30 (NZ time).
New Zealand squad: Jordan Kahu; Jason Nightingale, Solomone Kata, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Jordan Rapana; Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson; Jesse Bromwich (capt), Issac Luke, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Kevin Proctor, Tohu Harris, Jason Taumalolo. Bench: Lewis Brown, Martin Taupau, Manu Ma’u, Adam Blair