22 Oct 2014

Taumalolo to make Kiwis debut

11:42 am on 22 October 2014

Blockbusting forward Jason Taumalolo and teenage wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak have been named for their Kiwis debuts in the Four Nations rugby league opener against Australia.

Jason Taumalolo

Jason Taumalolo Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Coach Stephen Kearney has also reunited Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson in the halves, with veteran utility Thomas Leuluai starting at hooker.

Watene-Zelezniak's inclusion is subject to a fitness test on a foot injury picked up in training early this week.

The full squad line-up for Saturday's encounter in Brisbane are:

1-Peta Hiku, 2-Jason Nightingale, 3-Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 4-Dean Whare, 5-Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6-Kieran Foran, 7-Shaun Johnson, 8-Jesse Bromwich, 9-Thomas Leuluai, 10-Adam Blair, 11-Simon Mannering (captain), 12-Kevin Proctor, 13-Jason Taumalolo

Interchange: 14-Lewis Brown, 15-Greg Eastwood, 16-Martin Taupau, 17-Tohu Harris, 18-Suaia Matagi

Meanwhile Australia has included five Test rookies with Tim Sheens naming an extended 20-man squad.

Wingers Josh Mansour and Daniel Tupou, centre Dylan Walker, prop Aaron Woods and interchange forward Aidan Guerra have all been named to make their international debuts against the Kiwis in an Australian side hit by injury-enforced withdrawals.

In the absence of Johnathan Thurston, Daly Cherry-Evans has been chosen to partner Cooper Cronk in the Kangaroos halves.

Beau Scott has been named in the back-row alongside Ryan Hoffman and Greg Bird, for his first Test cap since 2011.

Sam Thaiday will partner Woods in the front row, with captain Cameron Smith slotting into hooker.

Greg Inglis will take the full-back role vacated by a shoulder injury to Billy Slater and Walker fills the right centre position that was opened up by Jarryd Hayne's departure to America.

Michael Jennings will play left centre next to Tupou.

Guerra, Robbie Farah, Josh Papalii, Corey Parker, Boyd Cordner, David Klemmer and Sione Mata'utia have all been named on an extended bench.

And the Samoan trio Reni Maitua, Tautau Moga and Sauaso Sue have not been considered for selection for their game against England due to an NRL integrity unit investigation into their involvement in a Brisbane brawl.

A statement accompanying the announcement acknowledged they were not available for selection "pending finalisation of an NRL integrity unit review".

Moga was one of up to eight men arrested over an alleged fracas that broke out at the Hot Gossip nightclub in Fortitude Valley on Sunday morning.