Bennett tipped to pull few

Kangaroos coach Wayne Bennett is expected to pull few surprises today when he names the Australian side to take on New Zealand in Saturday's Tri-Nations series opener.

Test skipper Darren Lockyer, who has been troubled by a hamstring complaint, has declared himself a certain starter after training strongly yesterday.

He appears certain to be named as five-eighth and skipper. Most interest surrounds the make-up of the backrow, with North Queensland second rower Luke O'Donnell in line to make his Test debut following a strong season with the Cowboys. O'Donnell may get his opportunity after the controversial omission of Parramatta second rower Nathan Hindmarsh, who was ruled out of the tour with a knee injury after initially being ruled fit to make the trip.

Along with O'Donnell, other candidates for the vacant second row position include St George Illawarra tyro Ben Creagh, Bulldogs duo Andrew Ryan and Willie Mason and Penrith lock Trent Waterhouse.