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Two newcomers for Kiwis to face Australia

01/05/2011 07:15:04 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne winger Matthew Duffie and Brisbane fullback Gerard Beale are the two newcomers in a 19-man New Zealand squad selected for Friday's rugby league Test against Australia.

The two 20-year-olds are joined as possible debutants in the Test at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast by Warriors' utility Lewis Brown, who was in the Kiwis' victorious Four Nations series squad last year.

Three other players who missed the Four Nations success - props Sam Rapira and Fuifui Moimoi plus halfback Kieran Foran - earned recalls.

The other 13 all played for the Kiwis in their 16-12 victory against the Kangaroos in the Four Nations final at Suncorp Stadium last November.

Of the other four who appeared in the final, winger Sam Perrett and forward Sika Manu are injured, front rower Frank Paul Nuuausala has been dropped and hooker Thomas Leuluai hasn't been brought back from the United Kingdom.

"As usual there are some players who couldn't be considered through injury but that's always a factor in team selection, one you can't control," Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney said.

"We're excited about the group of players we've been able to bring together and it's a real thrill to have two new players in the squad in Matt (Duffie) and Gerard (Beale).

"While we've had some success against Australia in the last few years, we haven't done well in the Anzac Test.

"The challenge for us is to prepare really well to give ourselves a chance of competing with them.

"The Four Nations doesn't matter to us now. That was last year and our attention needs to be on this one Test."

Apart from Beale, Brown and Duffie, the core of the side is now highly experienced at Test level with Lance Hohaia, Simon Mannering, skipper Benji Marshall and Adam Blair all having more than 20 international appearances each while several others are not far behind.

The starting line-up and interchange bench won't be confirmed until later in the week.

New Zealand squad: Gerard Beale, Adam Blair, Lewis Brown, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Matthew Duffie, Greg Eastwood, Nathan Fien, Kieran Foran, Bronson Harrison, Lance Hohaia, Issac Luke, Sam McKendry, Simon Mannering, Benji Marshall (capt), Ben Matulino, Fuifui Moimoi, Jason Nightingale, Sam Rapira, Jeremy Smith.

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