24 Oct 2017

Kiwis name debutant for opening World Cup match

3:54 pm on 24 October 2017

Centre Brad Takairangi will make his Kiwis test debut after being named in the starting lineup for New Zealand's opening rugby league world cup match against Samoa in Auckland on Saturday.

The 28 year old Takairangi plays for Paramatta, having spent seven seasson in the NRL with three clubs and has been part of Kiwi training camps in the past but never played a test.

The Brisbane Broncos player Kodi Nikorima will partner Shaun Johnson in the halves.

Thomas Leuluai will start at hooker with Martin Taupau and skipper Adam Blair the props.

The back row made up of Simon Mannering, Joseph Tapine and Kenny Bromwich.

Danny Levi, Isaac Liu and Nelson Asofa-Solomona will all earn their first Kiwis caps off the inter-change bench.

Brad Takairanigi.

Brad Takairanigi. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2017 www.photosport.nz