Big news out of Newcastle Knights with Jarrod Mullen returning a positive A-sample for an anabolic s...
3 days ago
Melbourne winger Matthew Duffie will be the only debutant in the Kiwis' line-up for Friday night's Anzac Test against the Kangaroos at Skilled Park in Robina.
In confirming New Zealand's side this morning, coach Stephen Kearney omitted Vodafone Warriors utility Lewis Brown and Brisbane fullback Gerard Beale from the original 19-man squad named on Sunday night. Brown is the 18th man.
Duffie will become Kiwi number 765 on Friday night, lining up on the right wing outside Sydney Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall, New Zealand's 2010 player of the year.
Vodafone Warriors captain Simon Mannering is also in the centres, where he has been playing recently in the NRL. He also lined up in the centres for the Kiwis in the 2008 World Cup win as well as the Four Nations victory last year.
Vodafone Warriors prop Sam Rapira, who was unavailable for the Four Nations campaign last year, returns to start in the front row after last playing for the Kiwis in the 2010 Anzac Test in Melbourne. Penrith's Sam Kendry is the other starting prop, as he was in the Four Nations final, while St George Illawarra's Nathan Fien runs on at hooker after being halfback in the Four Nations.
The experienced Adam Blair (Melbourne), Bronson Harrison (Canberra) and Jeremy Smith (Cronulla) will start in the back row. The side includes 13 of the 17 players used in the Four Nations final. Apart from Duffie and Rapira, the other two changes are recalled Parramatta prop Fuifui Moimoi, who'll be playing his ninth Test, and Manly halfback Kieran Foran, back after making his second Test appearance in last year's Anzac Test. Foran and Moimoi were both ruled out of the 2010 Four Nations with injuries.