Test Match-ups


1. Anthony Minichiello (Sydney Roosters) Age: 23 Hgt: 180cm Wgt: 82kg Tests: -. In only his first year as a fulltime fullback, Minichiello finds himself wearing the Australian No.1 jersey. Expect the Kiwis to test him under the high ball.

2. Matt Sing (North Queensland) Age: 28 Hgt: 183cm Wgt: 86kg Tests: 4. Four years since he played the last of his four tests, Sing forced his way back into the Kangaroos side with an outstanding Origin series.

3. Brent Tate (Brisbane) Age: 21 Hgt: 186cm Wgt: 89kg Tests: 2. Edged Matthew Gidley for his spot in the Test side thanks to a solid Origin III. Has everything you need from a centre - strength, pace and a swerve.

4. Jamie Lyon (Parramatta) Age: 21 Hgt: 183cm Wgt: 97kg Tests: 4. Back to his best after missing much of last year with a leg injury. One of the strongest centres in the NRL.

5. Shannon Hegarty (Sydney Roosters) Age: 23 Hgt: 184cm Wgt: 87kg Tests: -. Injury to Darren Lockyer has given Hegarty a Test debut. Dangerous out of dummy half but can expect to be tested under the high ball.

6. Shaun Timmins (St George Illawarra) Age: 26 Hgt: 184cm Wgt: 97kg Tests: 4. His conversion to five-eighth has been one of the season's real success stories. A strong defender with underrated skills as a ballplayer.

7. Andrew Johns (capt, Newcastle) Age: 29 Hgt: 179cm Wgt: 89kg Tests: 17. This is the man the Kiwis fear. Johns wasn't there the last time the sides met, when NZ almost caused an upset. But the world's best player is back and in brilliant form.

8. Shane Webcke (Brisbane) Age: 28 Hgt: 183cm Wgt: 112kg Tests: 8. Webcke was back to his barnstorming best in Origin III and will be expected to lead the Kangaroos pack against the Kiwis. The cornerstone of the Aussie pack.

9. Danny Buderus (Newcastle) Age: 25 Hgt: 178cm Wgt: 91kg Tests: 7. The best hooker in the game was his usual reliable self in the Origin series. His combination with Johns will have to be watched.

10. Luke Bailey (St George Illawarra) Age: 23 Hgt: 189cm Wgt: 108kg Tests: -. The best forward in the Origin series deserves his chance at test level. A revelation this season with his workrate and bullocking charges.

11. Gorden Tallis (Brisbane) Age: 29 Hgt: 189cm Wgt: 104kg Tests: 7. The Raging Bull was just that for the Maroons in the third Origin game. Still the most feared forward in the game and an inspiration to teammates.

12. Dane Carlaw (Brisbane) Age: 23 Hgt: 192cm Wgt: 107kg Tests: 5. Starting to realise his enormous potential. Dangerous when he can drift wide and terrorise opposition outside backs.

13. Luke Ricketson (Sydney Roosters) Age: 30 Hgt: 190cm Wgt: 102kg Tests: -. The workaholic Ricketson finally gets his chance after years of toiling. Won't let anyone down.


14. Bryan Fletcher (Souths) Age: 29 Hgt: 190cm Wgt: 105kg Tests: 7. Fletcher's experience will be vital for the Kangaroos off the bench. Still a dangerous ball player with the ability to off-load in tackles.

15. Craig Wing (Sydney Roosters) Age: 23 Hgt: 180cm Wgt: 86kg Tests: 1. The New Zealanders only have to look back to October to be reminded about the damage this guy can do off the bench. Lightning off the mark with deceiving strength.

16. Willie Mason (Bulldogs) Age: 23 Hgt: 195cm Wgt: 115kg Tests: 1. A human bulldozer. Massive forward who turned his back on NZ to play for Australia. Only played Origin III, but did enough to hold his test spot.

17. Petero Civoniceva (Brisbane). Age: 27 Hgt: 193cm Wgt: 110kg Tests: 5. Coaches love his versatility. Can play either back row or front row and has great speed for a big man. Also capable of pulling off some big hits in defence.

Coach: Chris Anderson (Cronulla) Record: 13 Tests, 11 wins, 2 losses. Anderson is under plenty of pressure at club level, but his record with the national side can't be questioned. Only lost two games since taking over the job in 1999. Premiership-winning coach whose relaxed style suits the test arena.


1. David Vaealiki (Parramatta) Age: 22 Hgt: 184cm Wgt: 100kg Tests: 6. Hasn't had the best season with Parramatta, but won't let the Kiwis down. Plays in the centres for the Eels but has experience in the No.1 jersey.

2. Matt Utai (Bulldogs) Age: 22 Hgt: 168cm Wgt: 93kg Tests: 1. The strongly-built Utai is almost impossible to stop one-on-one when he gets his momentum up. Can expect to be the target for some Johns' spiral bombs.

3. Nigel Vagana (Bulldogs) Age: 28 Hgt: 180cm Wgt: 90kg Tests: 18. The best centre in rugby league. Quick, strong with a nose for the try line. His tussle with Lyon and Tate should be something special.

4. Clinton Toopi (NZ Warriors) Age: 23 Hgt: 185cm Wgt: 100kg Tests: 5. Aggressive centre who also knows plenty about scoring tries. Missed early part of season with injury but has run into some good form with the Warriors.

5. Francis Meli (Warriors) Age: 24 Hgt: 187cm Wgt: 100kg Tests: 7. One of the most explosive wingers in the game, Meli is also brilliant under the high ball and Stacey Jones will aim plenty of bombs at his side of the field.

6. Willie Talau (Bulldogs) Age: 27 Hgt: 179cm Wgt: 92kg Tests: 11. Shock selection at five-eighth. Hasn't played the position for almost a decade but never lets NZ down. Will leave the ball-playing to Stacey Jones.

7. Stacey Jones (Warriors) Age: 27 Hgt: 171cm Wgt: 82kg Tests: 33. NZ's answer to Andrew Johns. Brilliant playmaker with great pace, hands and kicking game. Holds the key to the Kiwis' hopes of upsetting Australia.

8. Paul Rauhihi (North Queensland) Age: 30 Hgt: 190cm Wgt: 115kg Tests: 6. Massive prop with uncanny ability to off-load in tackles. Has been outstanding for North Queensland this year. Also has an aggressive streak.

9. Richard Swain (Brisbane) Age: 28 Hgt: 179cm Wgt: 86kg Tests: 19. Workaholic hooker who always leads the tackle count. Can be dangerous out of dummy half as the Kangaroos know after he tormented them last year in Wellington.

10. Ruben Wiki (Canberra, captain) Age: 30 Hgt: 186cm Wgt: 108kg Tests: 37. The aggressive Wiki loves playing for NZ and refuses to take a backward step. Has been appointed captain and will lead from the front.

11. Stephen Kearney (Melbourne) Age: 31 Hgt: 190cm Wgt: 103kg Tests: 43. Kearney is edging towards Gary Freeman's record as the most-capped Kiwi. Crafty back rower who loves to off-load and has plenty of big-match experience.

12. Tony Puletua (Penrith) Age: 24 Hgt: 192cm Wgt: 112kg Tests: 9. Arguably the form back rower in the NRL. Can be devastating roaming in the backline. One to watch.

13. Awen Guttenbeil (Warriors) Age: 27 Hgt: 188cm Wgt: 99kg Tests: 6. Another player who has a gift for unloading the football. Has only recently returned from injury for the Warriors but wasted no time finding form.


14. Monty Betham (Warriors) Age: 25 Hgt: 183cm Wgt: 94kg Tests: 6. The tough and uncompromising Betham is likely to spend time in the back row against Australia. An intimidating presence who knows how to look after himself.

15. Jerry SeuSeu (Warriors) Age: 29 Hgt: 188cm Wgt: 108kg Tests: 8. Hasn't been in the best form this season but carries a load and could be a real gamebreaker off the bench.

16. Logan Swann (Warriors) Age: 27 Hgt: 192cm Wgt: 103kg Tests: 25. Crafty veteran who gives the Kiwis a dangerous presence off the bench. Has been in great form for the Warriors and always looks to keep the ball alive.

17. Joe Galuvao (Penrith). Age: 25 Hgt: 180cm Wgt: 105kg Tests: -. He and Puletua have been brilliant for Penrith this year. Hard-running forward who has a knack for scoring tries. Deserves his chance.

Coach: Daniel Anderson Debut Anderson was born in Australia, but is an adopted Kiwi after turning around the Warriors' fortunes in only two years. Was named the Dally M coach of the year last year in recognition of the job he did at the NRL club.