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Kiwis 'aren't intimidated any more'

By Wayne Heming 04/05/2009 02:01:47 PM Comments (0)

Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer says New Zealand won't be intimidated by Australia after winning the rugby league World Cup last year.

The Australian selectors have given Lockyer and many of his players a shot at redemption at Suncorp Stadium on Friday in the wake of their shock World Cup final loss to the Kiwis at the same venue last November.

"They've beaten us in the two games that matter in the past three years," said Lockyer, referring to the World Cup final and Australia's 24-0 Tri Nations series final loss in 2005 which he missed through injury.

"They're definitely not intimidated by us by any means," said Lockyer as the Kangaroos assembled in Brisbane on Monday under their new coach Tim Sheens.

The only concern for Sheens was whether the Dragons winger Darius Boyd could overcome a thigh injury, with Canberra's Joel Monaghan waiting on standby.

Lockyer said he didn't expect Sheens to tamper too much with the way Australia played under former coach Ricky Stuart, with just four days to prepare for the one-off trans-Tasman Test.

However the Test No.6, who played his 300th premiership game for Brisbane at the weekend, said Sheens may be able to provide a few subtle hints on how to best contain New Zealand danger man Benji Marshall.

Sheens believes New Zealand will be even more formidable opponents than last year with the addition of South Sydney prop Roy Asotasi and menacing Penrith forward Frank Pritchard who missed the World Cup upset.

Sheens was to get his first look at his Test side when they trained at Brisbane's Red Hill base on Monday afternoon.

National selectors showed faith in several players from last year's defeat and also recalled centre Justin Hodges, prop Steve Price and utility Kurt Gidley who were injured for that encounter and recalled the tough Gold Coast prop Luke Bailey after two years on the representative sidelines.

The Kiwis arrived in Brisbane on Monday without one of their World Cup weapons - Dragons coach Wayne Bennett who was an adviser and played a key role in getting their belief right for the final.

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