Kiwi Test side named

The New Zealand Rugby League today named the Test team to play Australia in their opening Tri-Nations match at North Harbour Stadium, Albany on October 16.

The squad is a strong one, with rising sensation Sonny Bill Williams of the Canterbury Bulldogs being named as starting lock in his first Test match.

Two-try grand final hero Matt Utai starts on the wing and Roy Asotasi has secured a bench spot, capping a great semi-finals series for these three personally and recognising the Bulldogs' achievements as a club.

The rest of the team was pretty much expected, with Paul Whatuira beating Clinton Toopi to a centre spot. The hair-bears from Penrith add to a potent back-row, along with the Cayless brothers. Auckland bound forward Ruben Wiki is skipper.

The full side is:

Brent Webb Francis Meli Nigel Vagana Paul Whatuira Matthew Utai Vinnie Anderson Thomas Leuluai Jason Cayless Louis Anderson Ruben Wiki (c) Tony Puletua Joe Galuvao Sonny Bill Williams Interchange: Motu Tony, Roy Asotasi, Nathan Cayless, David Kidwell.