Coach Stephen Kearney throws new talent into the fire.
New Zealand named six newcomers Sunday in its rugby league side to play Australia in the Anzac Test in Sydney on Friday.
Form and injuries were telling factors in the Kiwis’ selection, with only six players remaining from the side that lost to the Kangaroos in last year’s World Cup final.
Captain Simon Mannering, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Dean Whare, Shaun Johnson, Sam Moa and Jesse Bromwich hold their places while Peta Hiku, Isaac John, Ben Henry, Siliva Havili, Martin Taupau and Kenny Bromwich are new to the line-up.
Bromwich will join older brother Jesse in the 18-man squad, the first set of siblings to suit up for New Zealand together since Henry and Robbie Paul in 2001.
“We’re still very excited by the talent we have available,” said coach Stephen Kearney.
“Many of these guys have progressed through Junior Kiwis and into full professional and now international careers.
“There are also some old faces returning and we think this mix will bring a really positive energy to the group,” Kearney said.
“This team is an Anzac story in itself — a band of young men thrown together to do whatever it takes to perform for 80 minutes on Friday night.”
Gerard Beale, (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Adam Blair (Wests Tigers), Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Kenneath Bromwich (Melbourne Storm), Greg Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs), Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm), Siliva Havili (NZ Warriors), Ben Henry (NZ Warriors), Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles), Isaac John (Penrith Panthers), Shaun Johnson (NZ Warriors), Simon Mannering (NZ Warriors), Sam Moa (Sydney Roosters), Jason Nightingale (St George-Illawarra Dragons), Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm), Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Sydney Roosters), Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers)