8 Nov 2014

Big English pack a test for Kiwis

6:31 pm on 8 November 2014

The New Zealand rugby league coach Stephen Kearney says the big English pack will test the Kiwis in Saturday's four Nations clash in Dunedin.

Jesse Bromwich, Kieran Foran and Simon Mannering

Jesse Bromwich, Kieran Foran and Simon Mannering Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kearney singled out England forwards Luke and George Burgess, the captain James Graham, Sean O'Loughlin, and Chris Hill who he described "a big lump of a lad."

On Tuesday, Kearney added utility Thomas Leuluai and forward Greg Eastwood to his line-up after sitting out last week's 14-12 nailbiter over Toa Samoa.

They replace Lewis Brown, who fills the 18th man spot, and Suaia Matagi.

Apart from those tweaks, Kearney has remained loyal to the side that toppled world champions Australia in the tournament's opening round.

Since then, Manu Vatuvei has assumed a place on the wing and Issac Luke has returned from suspension to the starting hooker's role.

New Zealand currently lead the competition with two wins, but a loss to England and an Australian victory over Samoa next weekend would see a three-way tie for the two spots in the Wellington final on November 15.

The finalists would then be determined by a points-difference countback, with England needing to finish Saturday's encounter 10 points ahead of the hosts to make the final.

New Zealand:

1-Peta Hiku

2-Jason Nightingale

3-Shaun Kenny-Dowall

4-Dean Whare

5-Manu Vatuvei

6-Kieran Foran

7-Shaun Johnson

8-Jesse Bromwich

9-Issac Luke

10-Adam Blair

11-Simon Mannering (captain)

12-Kevin Proctor

13-Jason Taumalolo

14-Thomas Leuluai

15-Greg Eastwood

16-Martin Taupau

17-Tohu Harris

18-Lewis Brown

England named an unchanged line-up from their Four Nations match against Australia to play the Kiwis.

England narrowly lost to Australia 16-12 in Melbourne after beating Samoa the week before.


1. Sam Tomkins (New Zealand Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

2. Josh Charnley (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

3. Kallum Watkins (Leeds Rhinos, Latchford Albion)

4. Dan Sarginson (Wigan Warriors, Hemel Stags)

5. Ryan Hall (Leeds Rhinos, Oulton Raiders)

6. Gareth Widdop (St George Illawarra Dragons, King Cross)

7. Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors, Blackbrook)

8. George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)

9. Josh Hodgson (Hull KR, East Hull)

10. James Graham (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Blackbrook)

11. Liam Farrell (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

12. Joel Tomkins (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

13. Sean O'Loughlin (captain) (Wigan Warriors, Wigan St Patricks)

14. Daryl Clark (Castleford Tigers, Fryston Warriors)

15. Brett Ferres (Huddersfield Giants, Smawthorne Panthers)

16. Tom Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs, Dewsbury Moor)

17. Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves, New Spring Lions)