New Zealand have included two uncapped 20-year-olds in their 19-man squad for Friday’s Anzac Test against Australia.
Melbourne winger Matthew Duffie and Brisbane full-back Gerard Beale are the two newcomers, while also yet to make his Test debut is New Warriors Warriors utility player Lewis Brown, who was in the Kiwis’ Four Nations squad last year.
Coach Stephen Kearney has decided not to send for Wigan hooker or half-back Thomas Leuluai, who was a member of the Kiwis’ victorious Four Nations team in November, but there are 13 members of that side in his 19.
“We’re excited about the group of players we’ve been able to bring together and it’s a real thrill to have two new players in the squad in Matt and Gerard,” said Kearney.
Lance Hohaia, who will join St Helens next season, will win his 28th cap at the Gold Coast’s Skilled Park stadium, while former Leeds forward Greg Eastwood will make his 18th Test appearance.
Squad: G Beale (Brisbane), A Blair (Melbourne), L Brown (Warriors), M Duffie (Melbourne), G Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs), N Fien (St George Illawarra), K Foran (Manly), B Harrison (Canberra), L Hohaia (Warriors), S Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters), I Luke (South Sydney), S McKendry (Penrith), S Mannering (Warriors), B Marshall (Wests Tigers, capt), B Matulino (Warriors), F Moimoi (Parramatta), J Nightingale (St George Illawarra), S Rapira (Warriors), J Smith (Cronulla).