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Three NZ debutants for Australia Test

02/05/2010 06:03:33 PM Comments (0)

Injury-hit New Zealand have named three debutants in their squad to face Australia in Friday's trans-Tasman rugby league Test in Melbourne.

While the majority of the 18-man squad was involved in last year's Four Nations, selectors have added Brisbane utility Alex Glenn, Warriors hooker Aaron Heremaia and Newcastle backrower Zeb Taia.

Young Manly star Kieran Foran was named in the squad and is expected to partner captain Benji Marshall in the halves.

The Kiwis have been hit by injury with several players not considered including Manu Vatuvei, Simon Mannering, Roy Asotasi, Jeremy Smith, Frank Pritchard, Fuifui Moimoi and Dene Halatau.

But coach Stephen Kearney is unfazed.

"Our focus can only be on the players we have," Kearney said.

"Injuries are very much a part of our game.

"Rather than worrying about those, we're excited about the players we've been able to bring together for what is a very important match for us in what is a big year for the Kiwis."

Kearney was especially excited about his three rookies.

"Zeb was a real chance for the Four Nations last year and Alex was also in the mix," Kearney said.

"The big mover has been Aaron, who has really impressed us with his form for the Warriors this season."

Kearney is yet to confirm his starting line-up, with the squad to have its first training run in Melbourne on Monday.

Squad: Adam Blair, Kieran Foran, Alex Glenn, Bronson Harrison, Aaron Heremaia, Lance Hohaia, Issac Luke, Sika Manu, Benji Marshall, Steve Matai, Ben Matulino, Jason Nightingale, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sam Perrett, Sam Rapira, Junior Sa'u, Zeb Taia, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.

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